It is the full week of October that includes the 9 of the month that is retained for the event. You want to know why? Keep on reading ...
Why is there a fire prevention week? Why is it held at the beginning of October each year? A brief story…
It is October 9, 1871, in Chicago. A major fire is raging. It is brought under control only 27 hours later, leaving only ruin and devastation in its wake. More than 250 people lost their lives/died and 100,000 others were left homeless. The fire destroyed more than 17,400 buildings and ravaged over 4,800 hectares of land.
It was forty years later, in 1911, that the oldest member organization of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Fire Marshals Association of North America, organized the first fire prevention day to commemorate the great Chicago fire. The event grew to such proportions that 11 years later, the first Fire Prevention Week was launched in the United States.
In Canada, it was Ontario that held the first provincial Fire Prevention Day, in 1916. The first national Fire Prevention Day was held in 1919. The Governor General of Canada proclaimed the first Fire Prevention Week in Canada in 1923. And the Ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec has held a Fire Prevention Week since 1990.
Why commemorate the date of a fire that occurred in the United States? It seemed only logical for the two countries to pool their efforts to highlight the event on the same date. Thus, Fire Prevention Week has always been held in the first full week of October in the United States as well as in Canada.