To commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and raise awareness for fire safety, Fire Prevention Week is held each year during the week of October 9th. The Great Chicago Fire began on October 8th, 1871. The fire burned 17,400 structures and 2,000 acres of land. In 2019, Fire Prevention Week was observed from 10/6-10/12. Even though Fire Prevention Week has passed, it is not only important to observe fire safety throughout the month of October but periodically throughout the year.
According to the National Safety Council, cooking and heating are the leading causes of home fires. Other causes include smoking, electrical issues, and candles. To help reduce the risk of fire at home, keep these tips in mind:
- When cooking, stay alert, check food regularly, and keep any combustible items away from the stovetop.
- Keep combustible items at least 3 feet away from space heaters and fireplaces, and never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended.
- Periodically check electrical cords for damage and replace cords that are frayed or have bare wires.
- Test smoke alarms on a monthly basis.
- Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.
- Develop a home escape plan.
In the event of a fire in the workplace:
- Evacuate the area and close the door.
- Pull the nearest fire alarm.
- Use the nearest exit to leave the building (no elevators).
- Call 9-1-1.
- Assemble at a designated evacuation assembly location.
- DO NOT reenter until given the all clear from emergency personnel.
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