AMERICUS — In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls, commemorating the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. 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.
Americus Fire & Emergency Services (AFES) is proud to participate in the Annual Fire Prevention week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In Americus the AFES observes Fire Prevention for the entire month of October. Partnering with the local Sumter County School District, they read books to Head Start and Early Head Start, Pre-K, and Kindergarten students. Kindergarten and first-grade students go through the Fire Safety House where they learn about fire safety in the home, such as “Don’t play with matches and lighters”, “the kitchen is no place to play”, “Have two ways out”, and “stop, drop and roll if our clothes catch on fire”. Seconds graders through fourth graders enjoy the AFES’ Clown Shows which reemphasize safety themes taught in previous years.
The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, Oct. 3-9, is “Don’t Wait Check the Date” on smoke alarms. They should be replaced every 10 years. They should be installed outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms.
Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep?
Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. In fact, having a working smoke alarm reduces the chances of dying in a structure fire in half!
Test your alarm for life!
Your smoke alarm has the power to save your life. Or does it? If you haven’t tested your smoke alarm lately, it may not be working. And that’s a risk you can’t afford to take. Working smoke alarms give us early warning of a fire, providing extra time to escape safely. But they can’t do their job if we haven’t done ours — monthly testing to make sure they’re working. Test all the smoke alarms in your home. When you change your clocks, for Daylight Savings Time, change the batteries in your smoke alarms.
If you live in the City of Americus, and don’t have a smoke alarm in your home, call the Americus Fire Department at 229-924-3213 or 229-924-1385 and they will schedule a time to come and install them for you.