Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of Oct. 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct. 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage.
This conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire and how to escape safely in the event of one:
Look — Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
Listen — Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
Learn — Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.
While children under five and adults over 65 are at the highest risk for injury or death in a fire, people of all ages are vulnerable. In fact, the risk of a nonfatal fire injury is highest for those between 20 and 49, showing that fire safety education is essential for everyone. Additional risk factors include race, socioeconomic status, education level and geographic location.
North Battleford Fire Department invites residents to the following locations to discuss fire safety needs: Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Canadian Tire from 1:30 to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Walmart from 6:30 to 8p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 11 at Frontier Centre from 1:30 to 5 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 13 at Co-op Mall from 1 to 5:00 p.m.
The fire department will also be holding a beef on the bun lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. at the fire hall.