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Make it Fire Prevention Week every week

Be a hero in your household by making fire prevention a priority, writes Vaughan Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi
Oct. 10, 2019
Chief Deryn Rizzi

Every year, the second week in October is dedicated to fire prevention. This is an opportunity for Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service to educate the community and encourage families to practise fire safety.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) dedicated this week in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, which lasted from Oct. 8 to 10, 1871, and the devastating damage it caused. In total, the fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. We remember this tragedy so we can learn from it and take precautions to keep our community safe.

Each year, the NFPA picks a theme for the week -- this year it’s “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” When you think of the word hero, you often think about Superman and Wonder Woman, maybe even firefighters and police officers. But there are other types of heroes -- those who take the important steps to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. One of the best things you can do in your own home is to create a home escape plan.

A home escape plan shows the layout of your home, at least two escape routes from each room, including all doors and windows, and the place outside where everyone will meet. The most crucial part of the plan is practice. In the event of a fire, you may only have a few minutes to escape safely, so everyone must know what to do when the fire alarm sounds.

Paying attention to fire safety isn’t something you can do once a year. It involves making smart choices every day that keep you and your loved ones safe. Be a hero in your household and keep fire prevention on your mind all year long.