From Oct. 6-12, the Sleepy Eye Fire Department will be spreading the word that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home—and they’ll help teach people how to keep cooking fires from starting in the first place.
The Sleepy Eye Fire Department will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, Oct. 9, beginning with Operation E.D.I.T.H.
Operation EDITH is used to educate children and their families about the life-saving value of having a fire escape plan for their home. Each year in October, Sleepy Eye Fire Department members help spread this important message around the communities during Fire Prevention Week. The cornerstone of the campaign is Exit Drill In The Home, thus the name “E.D.I.T.H.”
Following Operation E.D.I.T.H., an open house will be held at the fire hall with a free lunch and kitchen fire demonstrations from 7-8:30 p.m. For more information see the advertisement in the print issue on page 9.
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on Oct. 8, but continued into and did most of its damage, on Oct. 9, 1871.
According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow - belonging to Mrs. Catherine O’Leary - kicked over a lamp, setting first the barn, then the whole city on fire.
On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (today known as the International Fire Marshals Association), decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should henceforth be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. The commemoration grew incrementally official over the years.
In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925.
Reproduced from NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2013 NFPA.