Fire Prevention Week – October 4 – 10
“Hear The Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!”
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours. One quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den. Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Firefighter Adam Dorn said, “Statistics show that three out of every five home fire deaths in 2007-2011 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.”
The NFPA reports, “In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 93% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 79% of the time. When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.”
“We often field questions like “What kind of a smoke alarm should I buy for my house, an ionization or photoelectric?” Dorn continued on saying, “An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed, to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.”
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.
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.
“To learn more about fire safety and the Fitchburg Fire Department, we invite you to join us at our annual open house, scheduled for October 3, from 10 am to 2 pm at Firehouse #1 at 5791 Lacy Road.” Dorn stated that there will be food and refreshments, fire safety presentations, fire truck rides, and many other fun filled educational opportunities.
A representative from the “Safety Blitz” (partnership of the Professional Fire Fighter of Wisconsin, the Green Bay packers, and the National Football Coaches Association) will be on hand raising funds to promote Child ID kits which will be made available to all Wisconsin students in grades K-12. Additional information about the Safety Blitz campaign can be found at www.pffw.org.