October 4th-10th is Fire Prevention Week!

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire. This tragic 1871 event killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871. Despite the tragedy of that fire, it was not the biggest that year, or even that week. That sad distinction goes to the Peshtigo Fire, the most devastating forest fire in American history. This fire also started on October 8th, 1871, and roared through Northeast Wisconsin, burning down 16 towns, killing 1,152 people, and scorching 1.2 million acres before it ended. firesafety

Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925. Each year has had a special fire safety theme, this years is; Hear The Beep Where You Sleep.  Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm! For more information on the history of this week of awareness please visit the National Fire Prevention Association website. There is a great deal of helpful information and resources throughout the site, including printable activity sheets for childrenfire1

Fire safety is an important topic to share with children, often the younger the better, so they know how to react during a fire drill or an emergency. Here is a selection of books you might want to share with your children to educate and prepare them, while entertaining them.

A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe Around Fire by Maribeth Boelts, Fireboy to the Rescue!: A Fire Safety Book by Edward Miler, Stop Drop and Roll by Margery Cuyler, Fire Safety by Lisa M. Herrington, No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean Pendziwol, Fire Safety by Dana Meachen Rau, Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill by Jamie Harper, Fire Safety in Action by Mari Schuh, Firefighters!: Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell,If There is a Fire  by Wil Mara, Staying Safe around Fire by Lucia Raatma,Fire Drill by Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender, andThe Firefighters by Sue Whiting.

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