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October 9th is Fire Prevention Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then I hope you're not an arsonist because it's Fire Prevention Day!  Don't worry; Smokey the Bear's got your back!  Let's get right into celebrating Fire Prevention Day!


Well, fires aren't usually looked on as a good thing, unless it's cooking your food or heating your house, so it seems like a pretty common thing to want to prevent, right? But this holiday was set up for more than just logical reasons... In fact, it was set up in 1911 by the Fire Marshals Association of North America on the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire to help raise awareness about fire prevention. That fire killed hundreds of people and that's not something anyone would want to happen again, so brush up on fire safety today!  The fire that became the cause for this holiday started in a small barn, near 137 DeKoven Street, on the night of October 8th. It was first reported that a cow kicked over a lantern, but the reporter later admitted that he made that up just to draw attention to the story. Come on man, the fire was big enough... I'm sure people would have read it anyway!

But the fire spread quickly because a lot of the buildings were made out of wood, they were in the middle of a drought and it's not called the "windy city" for nothing. Oddly enough, the people of the city didn't really care at first and the firemen were tired from fighting a fire the day before so it spread into different neighborhoods. But it was the rain that came to the rescue two days later and doused the remaining flames. It was too late to save the homes of over 100,000 people and the lives of over 300 people, but I think now you can see why they want to educate people on fire prevention.  If you see a random fire, put it out!


So, how can you celebrate today?  Well, how about you start at home and make sure you're good to go there? Do you have fresh batteries in your smoke alarms? Do you have a fire extinguisher? Are all the cords for your electronic devices in tip top shape? Are your candles far enough away from things that could catch fire? There's a lot you can do at home to ensure that a fire never starts there, so today is a good day to check up on things. You never know when a fire could start!

But if you have kids you can also educate them on how to prevent fires. Tell them not to play with matches or lighters and tell them why. Teach them stop, drop and roll. Show them what to do if there's a fire and how to get out of the house. And of course, tell them to dial 911 if you're not around to help put out the fire or if it's just too big.  And if you really want to, you can look into the history of the Great Chicago Fire and look at what went wrong. If you don't learn from your mistakes you're bound to repeat them, right? So look into what caused it, why it spread so fast, why it wasn't contained and put out and then try to do the exact opposite in any way you can.   Have a great day... one free of fires!

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