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October 6 through 12 is Fire Prevention Week. Originally proclaimed as Fire Prevention Day in 1920 by President Woodrow Wilson, it commemorated the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge expanded the event to a whole week. He noted that in the previous year some 15,000 lives were lost to fire in the United States. Calling the loss “startling,” President Coolidge’s proclamation stated: “This waste results from conditions which justify a sense of shame and horror; for the greater part of it could and ought to be prevented.”
FEMA Fire Administration Kids Page
I was shocked to learn that each year over 100,000 destructive fires are started by kids. Education is the only way to reduce these frightening statistics. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a marvelous site that is both educational and entertaining. Best bets are Hydro’s Hazard House (Can you find all the fire hazards in Hydro’s house?), the fire safety quizzes and the lesson plans for pre-K through third grade.
Fire Prevention Week
The official Fire Prevention Week site from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has tips and educational material for kids, parents and educators. Families will find fun games, coloring pages and important safety information in the Kids & Parents link in the top right-hand corner. Teachers will find classroom materials on the link of the same name in the blue left-hand menu. Highlights of both sections include educational PDFs that can be printed and freely distributed.
Great Chicago Fire
National Fire Prevention Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire of October 9, 1871. This quick-spreading fire killed 300 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings. How did it start? One popular legend tells the story of Mrs. Catherine O’Leary milking her cow when the animal kicked over a lamp, setting the O’Leary’s barn on fire. The blaze burned more than 2000 acres in twenty-seven hours. The City of Chicago rebuilt quickly, and within a couple of years residents began celebrating their successful restoration by memorializing the anniversary of the fire.
OUPD Kid Safety
This animated slide show teaches fire safety (including how to create a home escape plan) and then moves onto other safety subjects. Following the forward or backward arrow will take you to electrical safety (“Never put anything into an electrical outlet”), gun safety (“Never touch a weapon, no matter where you find it”), telephone safety, poison safety, school bus safety, stranger danger, and believe-or-not more. For a complete listing of all eighteen safety tutorials, click on “Stop” then “Menu.”
Sparky the Fire Dog
Sparky the Fire Dog is the official dalmatian “spokes dog” of the NFPA. There are so many fun spots (dalmatian, spots, get it?) here, I can only list a few. Fire truck afficionados will enjoy driving the big red Shockwave fire truck in “Get out of the way.” Blast your horn, and the cars on the road will get out of your way. Ever wondered how your Aunt Edna would look in dalmatian spots? Or what about a rabbit? Find out who looks best in spots with the Shockwave game Dalmatianize.