Fire Protection Week Activities Under Way

The National Fire Protection Association and many fire departments across the country are participating in the week's events.

Fire safety events are scheduled from coast to coast for the 91st National Fire Prevention Week, taking place Oct. 6-12. The National Fire Prevention Association also is taking part and is providing week-related materials on its website.

According to NFPA, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home fires in 2011 alone, and home fires kill an average of seven people in the United States every day.

The New York City Fire Department is holding educational events in all five boroughs during the week. The Los Angeles Fire Department held its free Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair on Saturday, Oct. 5, in conjunction with several communities and neighborhood councils.

The week's activities are focused on home fires, mainly on cooking fires, because cooking is the leading cause of home fires and the leading cause of fire-related home injuries. "Often when firefighters are called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," California State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover said. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will enable us to reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson and remember 'Fire is Everyone's Fight.'"

New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said FDNY's fire safety education efforts "continue to be a major factor in reducing the number of civilian fire deaths in New York City, including, in 2012, the fewest civilian fire fatalities ever recorded.The FDNY's Fire Safety Education Unit has reached more than 600,000 New Yorkers with their critical messages of fire safety and fire prevention, working year-round and especially during National Fire Prevention Week."

The week has been observed since 1922. It is held during the second week of October to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 8, 1871, and to inform the public about the importance of fire safety and fire prevention.

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