In 1920, shortly after the Great Chicago Fire, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record. From that day on, National Fire Prevention Day grew incrementally until it became a weeklong effort to inform the public about the importance of fire prevention.
Here are some Fire Prevention Day slogans from the past:
2016 Don’t Wait – Check the Date!
1942 Today Every Fire Helps Hitler
1943 Fires Fight for the Axis! (to emphasize home fire prevention)
1946 FIRE is the Silent Partner of Inflation
1953 Fire Feeds on Careless Deeds
1966-72 Fire Hurts
Today it is still important to take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of our friends, neighbors, and children. This year’s Fire Presentation Week has two focuses: replacing old fire alarms and installing home sprinkler systems.
Fire alarms in your home should be replaced every 10 years. To find out how old the smoke alarms in your building are, remove the alarm from the wall and turn over to find the manufacture date. Alarms should be replaced 10 years from that date.
Portland Water Bureau encourages Portlanders in both new and old homes to consider installing sprinkler systems. Smoke alarms are crucial in cutting the risk of dying in a home fire, but with the addition of sprinklers, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut by an astounding 80 percent. Sprinklers may even limit the amount of water damage in a home—movies and TV have perpetuated the myth that all sprinklers will come on at once, but the truth is 85 percent of the time only one sprinkler will activate during a fire. Since sprinklers use significantly less water than a fire hose, water damage is notably reduced.
This fire prevention week, everyone has a role to play. Check your smoke alarms, look into home sprinkler systems, and make sure you have an action plan in your home and your work place in case of a fire.