Fire Prevention Week
October 9-15, 2016
"Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years"
Why focus on smoke alarms three years in a row? Because NFPA’s survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms,
which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms
are, or how often they need to be replaced.
As a result of those and related findings, we’re addressing smoke alarm replacement this year with a focus on these key messages:
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
- Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
- To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
10:00AM - 2:00PM
Tooele City Fire Department, Station #1
90 North Main Street
- Free Hot Dogs and Cookies
- Fire Station Open House
- Learn about Fire Safety!
- Fire Equipment Demonstrations
Firefighters will be presenting Fire Prevention presentations to all the elementary schools within Tooele City the week of October 9-15, 2016.
About Fire Prevention Week
Commemorating a conflagration
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the
Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000
homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began
on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.
According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow - belonging to Mrs. Catherine O'Leary
- kicked over a lamp, setting first the barn, then the whole city on fire. Chances are you've heard
some version of this story yourself; people have been blaming the Great Chicago Fire on the cow and
Mrs. O'Leary, for more than 130 years. But recent research by Chicago historian Robert Cromie has
helped to debunk this version of events.
The 'Moo' myth
Like any good story, the 'case of the cow' has some truth to it.
The great fire almost certainly started near the barn where Mrs. O'Leary kept her five milking cows.
But there is no proof that O'Leary was in the barn when the fire broke out - or that a jumpy cow
sparked the blaze. Mrs. O'Leary herself swore that she'd been in bed early that night, and that the
cows were also tucked in for the evening.
But if a cow wasn't to blame for the huge fire, what was? Over the years, journalists and historians
have offered plenty of theories. Some blamed the blaze on a couple of neighborhood boys who were near
the barn sneaking cigarettes. Others believed that a neighbor of the O'Leary's may have started the
fire. Some people have speculated that a fiery meteorite may have fallen to earth on October 8, starting
several fires that day - in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Chicago.
The biggest blaze that week
While the Great Chicago Fire was the best-known blaze to start
during this fiery two-day stretch, it wasn't the biggest. That distinction goes to the Peshtigo Fire,
the most devastating forest fire in American history. The fire, which also occurred on October 8th, 1871,
and roared through Northeast Wisconsin, burning down 16 towns, killing 1,152 people, and scorching 1.2
million acres before it ended.
Historical accounts of the fire say that the blaze began when several railroad workers clearing land
for tracks unintentionally started a brush fire. Before long, the fast-moving flames were whipping
through the area 'like a tornado,' some survivors said. It was the small town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin
that suffered the worst damage. Within an hour, the entire town had been destroyed.
Eight decades of fire prevention
Those who survived the Chicago and Peshtigo fires never
forgot what they'd been through; both blazes produced countless tales of bravery and heroism. But the
fires also changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety. On the 40th
anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (today known as
the International Fire Marshals Association), decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire
should henceforth be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed
about the importance of fire prevention. The commemoration grew incrementally official over the years.
In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since
1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls.
According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention
Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United
States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925.
Note: Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week Web site,
www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2006 NFPA.