The Great Chicago Fire of 1871
Fire Prevention Week was established in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The incident killed nearly 300 people, destroyed thousands of structures, and left 100,000 people homeless. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country.
Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States, so this year’s Fire Prevention Week (October 4th – 10th) theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen, and scald burns from hot liquids are the second leading cause of all burn injuries. A few simple but effective actions can be taken to keep your loved ones safe in the kitchen.
• Stay focused on the food when cooking – unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.
• Put a lid on it – a simple step when a stove top fire gets out of control.
• Keep cooking areas clear – remove clutter and give cooking appliances space.
• Prevent scalds and burns – turn pot handles in and keep them away from counter edges.
For more information on how to serve up safety in the kitchen, check out our tips on Cooking Safely.