October 8-14, 2023 is Fire Prevention Week
October 4th-October 10th is National Fire Prevention Week. The theme for this years #FirePreventionWeek is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen”. Did you know that cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries? More specifically, unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.
While restaurants continue to operate in Southern California, some members of the public may choose to avoid dining out and opt to do more cooking at home. Here is what the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has identified as the main ways that you can help prevent kitchen fires from occurring:
- Never leave cooking unattended
- Keep the area you are cooking near clear of anything that can catch fire. Oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains should all be at least three feet away from your stovetop.
- Be on alert. If you are tired or intoxicated, do not use the stove or stovetop.
These are all great ways to practice fire safety, but as we have seen with recent fires in California, it is more important than ever that we also focus on wildfire prevention and preparedness. Maintaining defensible space around our homes gives our structures the best chance at surviving a wildfire. The Running Springs Fire Department provides guidelines on how to create the appropriate defensible space around your structure and property line.
History of Fire Prevention Week
National Fire Prevention week is observed during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which burned from October 8 to October 10, 1871. This devastating fire caused over 1/3 of the Chicago population to become homeless (~100,000 people), destroyed over 17,000 structures, burned more than 2,000 acres, and killed more than 250 people.
In 1911, on the 40th anniversary of the fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America, decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should be observed in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. Years later, in 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and in 1925, President Calvin Coolidge declared Fire Prevention Week to be nationally observed, which makes it the longest-running public health observance in the United States.
During Fire Prevention Week, firefighters provide lifesaving education to the public in an effort to decrease casualties caused by fires.