National Fire Prevention Week is observed annually in the United States (U.S.) and Canada around the week of October 9. Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the event originates from the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which burned from Sunday, October 8, 1871, to Tuesday, October 10, killed an estimated 300 people and left 100,000 homeless.
Fire Survival Preparation
- Have working smoke alarms in bedrooms and near kitchens and living rooms; interconnected is best. Remember, it’s important to check batteries regularly. It is recommended that you change the batteries in your alarms when you change your clocks for daylight saving time.
- Smoke alarms have a 10-year life limit. Most smoke alarms have an end of life signaling to show when it’s time to replace a smoke alarm. The performance of smoke alarms older than ten years may not be reliable.
- Test the devices monthly. A unit should immediately be replaced if it is not operating properly.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Additionally, keep bedroom doors closed at night to mitigate the spread of fire.
- Draw a map of your home by using NFPA’s grid, available in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF), with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
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