Fire Prevention Week kicked off Sunday

Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

This year’s Fire Prevention Week, themed “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is this Sunday through Saturday.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Prevention Week began in October 1925 and is observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire that began Oct. 8, 1871, and the campaign is the longest running public health observance.

“The week raises awareness of how quickly and easily fires start,” WPFD Chief Ken Wilbourne said. “It emphasizes the importance of fire prevention and safety, especially moving into winter with heaters and holiday cooking.”

The National Fire Protection Association, which sponsors Fire Prevention Week, said people may have less than two minutes to get out of a burning building safely once a smoke alarm sounds, and seven steps should be practiced in every family’s escape plan:
• Draw a map of your escape plan
• Find two ways out of every room
• Make sure doors and windows are not blocked
• Choose an outside meeting Place in front of your home
• Push the test button to sound the smoke alarm
• Practice your drill with everyone in the home
• Get outside to your meeting place

Fire Inspector Ted Judson said the leading cause of fires is unattended cooking.

“Turn off the eye if you leave the kitchen,” Judson said.

Judson said to also check heating systems and clean chimneys going into the winter season.

Judson said to make sure all the smoke detectors in your home are working properly, and WPFD has some smoke detectors available for homeowners.

Wilbourne said there will be a resident meeting at the Henry Clay Hotel at 3 p.m. Monday about fire and cooking safety.

Wilbourne said school groups throughout October will be touring the fire station and firetrucks, as well as learning stop, drop and roll and other important fire safety tips.

Fore more information about National Fire Prevention Week or fire safety, visit