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  Friday April 25th, 2014    

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Fire Prevention Week observed in Winona (10/12/2005)
Honoring the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred October 9, 1871, Fire Prevention Week has been held annually since its presidential proclamation in 1925. Burning more than 2,000 acres in 27 hours, the Chicago fire claimed the lives of 300 people, left 300,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 structures.

To increase the awareness of fire, this year's Fire Prevention Week is observed from October 9-15. The theme selected for 2004 is "Use Candles with Care - When You Go Out, Blow Out!" Candles remain a growing source of deadly residential fires, and in 2002, candles started over 18,000 structure fires, and caused 130 deaths.

With home fires accounting for nearly 90% of all fire related deaths, residential safety remains the key issue to the reduction of overall statistics. Know in advance what to do if a fire breaks out in your home, such as having an escape plan, and doing everything you can to prevent a fire from happening in the first place. A simple survey of your home may identify potential hazards that can be easily eliminated.

In addition to candles, careless use of smoking materials, lack of attention to heating equipment, matches and lighters within the reach of children, overloaded outlets, and the accumulation of unnecessary combustible material, are just a few of the hazards that can be reduced.

The importance of having early warning smoke detectors has been realized, and we have achieved a sense of security by having them. The responsibility now relies upon testing, and making sure they are allowed to operate.

Fire prevention works, and is everyone's responsibility, not only during Fire Prevention week, but every day of the year. 

 

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