This week, North American schools, communities, and fire departments are observing Fire Prevention Week (FPW). Since 1922, NFPA has sponsored the public observance of FPW. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed FPW a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During this week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. FPW is observed each year during the week of October 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871. The incident killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,000 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
For more information regarding this and other moments in fire history, please feel free to reach out to the NFPA Research Library & Archives. NFPA Archives houses all of NFPA's publications, both current and historic. Library staff are available to answer research questions from members and the general public.