According to theU.S. Fire Administration, there are approximately 86,500 non-residential building fires each year, which results in 1,325 injuries and 85 deaths. It is important to keep this in mind for your business when approaching Fire Prevention Week.
Every year, the United States celebrates Fire Prevention Week in October. Each year there is a different theme as well, with this year’s theme being “Prevent Kitchen Fires.” This theme is important not just for homes, but businesses as well. Fire Prevention Week will occur between October 6th and October 12th, spreading awareness for fires and helping families and business owners understand the common fire dangers.
The History of Fire Prevention Week
The tradition of Fire Prevention Week began in 1927 as a way to remember the events after what is known as the Great Chicago Fire. This fire resulted in 250 lives lost, 17,400 structures destroyed, 100,000 people homeless and more than 2,000 acres in Chicago being burned to the ground. The Great Chicago Fire started on October 8, 1871 and the majority of its damage was a day later. That same day, the worst forest fire in United States history occurred in Wisconsin, which killed over 1,100 people and destroyed 1.2 million acres of land.Fire Prevention Week is a way to commemorate these fires and offer safety tips, prevention and help for individuals and businesses across the country.
How to Prepare for Fire Prevention Week
During Fire Prevention Week, it is important to prepare and keep some basic fire safety tips in mind. For your business, you should know the escape routes and practice evacuation drills regularly. Make sure every employee in your building knows how to get out safely and understands the evacuation rules. Everyone should also be able to locate a fire extinguisher and know how to use it. Keep emergency phone numbers in strategic locations in the office, especially near telephones. Since this year is for kitchen safety, take note of fire safety tips in the kitchen, whether its in the home, restaurant kitchen, or company break room. This includes turning pot handles away from the edge of the stove, remaining in the kitchen when something is grilling, frying or broiling and always keeping the pot lid in a close place to put out a grease fire. If the lid is not available, find something to smother the fire. Water does not help with a grease fire.
Learning About Fire Safety
Further resources are available to help you, your employees and your family learn more about fire safety and prevention. These resources are available at ready.gov, firepreventionweek.org, usfa.fema.gov and a special site for kids at sparky.org.
Fire Prevention Week is the perfect opportunity to learn about the dangers in your home or business and get adequate protection. Your business should always be covered from fires with business insurance. After doing everything you can to prevent fires, make sure to contact an insurance agent about fire coverage.