For more than a century, October has been designated as Fire Prevention Month.
The observance was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of October 8-9, 1871
that killed more than 250 people and decimated the city.
Although the origin of the catastrophic fire was never proven, legend has it that a cow owned by
Catherine O’Leary kicked over a lamp, setting the barn then the entire city ablaze. Not only was
there a great loss of life, but thousands were left homeless.
The Chicago disaster forever changed the way people thought about fire safety.
Some 40 years later, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sponsored Fire Prevention Week in an attempt to prevent a repeat of what had occurred in Chicago. President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance.
Reducing fire deaths is the goal of Fire Protection Month. It is held annually on the Sunday through Saturday in which October 9th falls.
The U.S. Fire Administration has provided some basic facts about fire to keep you and your family safe:
Fire is fast!
A small flame can get totally out of control and turn into a major fire in less than 30 seconds. In
minutes, thick black smoke can fill a house and engulf it in flames.. If you wake up to a fire,
there is no time to grab valuables. There is only time to escape.
Fire is pitch black!
While a fire may begin as bright, it quickly produces black smoke, putting the building into
complete darkness. If you are awakened to a fire you may not be able to find your way to
escape, even in a home you’ve lived in for years.
Fire is hot!
While flames may be hot, the heat caused by a fire can be deadly. The temperature in a room on fire can be 100 degrees at floor level, but rise to 600 degrees at eye level. If you inhale this heat, it can scorch your lungs and melt your clothes to your body. In about five minutes, the heat from a fire can become super-hot and cause a flashover.
Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames. A fire uses up oxygen and produces deadly smoke and poisonous gases. Breathing even small
amounts of smoke and toxic gases can disorient you, make you drowsy and cause you to fall into a deep sleep – even before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up to escape. Keep your family safe from fire by being prepared.
Make sure your home has working smoke detectors on each floor. This is the easiest way to alert your family to a possible fire. Having an escape plan is also essential.
Practice the plan
and make sure everyone knows what to do and is aware of escape routes. Designate a family meeting place outside of your home.
Check out our October blog for more information about Fire Prevention Week.
If you have any questions about residential or commercial alarm systems, don’t hesitate to
call Delco Alarm Systems at 610-459-9100.