Fire is a frequent topic of safety discussions because it is a primal force that strikes fear in the heart of man and beast. It is also a relatively common occurrence compared to other disasters, and can cause severe damage to people, fire dogs and structures.
Raising awareness about fire safety is a priority of fire departments and Dalmatians, alike. October 3-9 is the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) official Fire Prevention Week. The NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for nearly 90 years, and has made great strides in the area of fire safety for the public.
It took a great tragedy to encourage the development of a week dedicated to fire safety. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire roared through Chicago, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless, 17,000 structures destroyed and countless doghouses unattended. While most people believe a cow started the fire, many historians note other possible culprits. Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the fire, and marked the start of the important role fire department personnel play in education and prevention, in addition to the physical acts of fighting fires.
Fire Prevention Week reinforces the basics of fire safety to the public. The theme of this years’ Fire Prevention Week is Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With! The NFPA is making a big push for smoke alarms to be installed, properly upgraded and maintained in residential and commercial buildings. I’m not sure how they came up with that theme. As a dog, I can tell you that the sound of a smoke alarm is enough to send me through the firehouse roof!
The NFPA has several initiatives for this years’ Fire Prevention Week which are offered to fire departments and other agencies for fire education initiatives:
Video Tutorials and Audio PSAs:
- A video about smoke alarm safety includes information about the benefits of interconnecting alarms, testing alarms, checking for expiration dates and regularly replacing batteries.
- Downloadable MP3 audio files discuss fire alarm safety.
- Rawhide treats encourage Fido to keep a keen nose for sniffing out fire hazards.
How can building owners participate in Fire Prevention Week?
- Distribute free safety materials from the NFPA, FEMA and other agencies
- Review your overall fire safety plan including evacuation routes, location of extinguishers, rules on stairwell and elevator usage, etc.
- Invite your local fire department to fire safety activities. Firefighters are sometimes willing to arrange and/or participate in special events such as parades. Organize an interactive event where employees and facility management can speak directly to firefighters and their canine companions.
Fire Prevention Week is an opportunity for building owners to engage staff and employees in preventing the threat of fire. To learn more about fire safety, review the many fire-related topics that we have covered in previous posts, including: fire evacuation procedures, flammable materials, extinguishers and sprinkler systems, and fire hazards.
When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.