Protect Your Home and Family from Chicago Fire

October 08, 2011

October 9 to 15 is Fire Prevention Week, and this year’s theme is emphasizing safety at home.

Fire Prevention Week came out of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed over 250 people, left more than 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 properties and burned an excess of 2,000 acres.

The fire began on October 8 but did most of its damage on October 9, so each year, Fire Prevention Week is observed on the Sunday through Saturday in which Oct. 9 falls.

This year’s theme is “It’s Fire Prevention Week! Protect Your Family From Fire!”

Statistics show that eight percent of all fire deaths occur in the home.

Don’t let it happen to you. Here are some tips for safety in the home:

*Illinois law requires all residences to have working smoke detectors installed within 15 feet of all bedrooms and on every level of your home.

*Check the smoke alarm’s batteries monthly and replace detectors at least every 10 years.

*Have a fire-escape plan and practice it with your family.

*Don’t leave a heated stove or lit candles unattended.

*Replace or repair any damaged or loose electrical cords.

*If you are remodeling your home, consider installing a fire sprinkler system.

Many community fire departments are hosting open houses this weekend, including Skokie, Evanston, Wilmette, Glen Ellyn and North Chicago. Contact your local fire station to see what they are doing to promote fire safety in the home.

For more safety tips, including a Fire Prevention Week webinar, visit the National Fire Protection Association at nfpa.org.

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