Ready for Fire Prevention Week!
The various agencies that take an active part in planning for Fire Prevention Week have made thorough preparation for the observance of that week which comes this year October 7-13. The week is so arranged that it takes in October 9, the anniversary of the burning of Chicago.
The National Fire Protection Association has printed a fourpage leaflet in red and black on “The Story of Fire Prevention Week.” It tells of the underlying reasons for the observance of this week to those who know little or nothing about the subject.
Courtesy New York World
In addition, the association has issued the fifth revised edition of the fire prevention week handbook that describes in detail plans for the guidance of committees and others planning Fire Prevention Week. This book has also proven valuable to teachers and school as well as school superintendents.
There is no set rule in the manner in which the fire prevention message can be forcibly brought home during that week.
A number of cities have placed banners on the side of the ladder trucks so that some slogan would reach the greatest percentage of residents One very effective plan is to place a linen tape across the doorway of each fire house in the city. The newspaper is told of the scheme and plays up the story of how the department hopes that none of the tapes will be broken through fire apparatus responding to calls during that week. People passing by these stations each day, unconsciously look to see if the tape has been severed.
The biggest agency of all for the spreading of propaganda is the school system. Some fireman or fire department officer who can talk before children should be detailed to sneak before the various classes, teaching them the value of being careful where fire is concerned, the proper way in which to turn in a fire alarm, some information about the saving of life, and so forth. After each talk, pamphlets or other literature can be left for the children to take home. In that way, each home has some information on this very important subject.
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Although cities have staged fire prevention parades, in some municipalities there are regulations prohibiting such displays.
Chiefs have secured cooperation from department stores in the larger cities. Window dressers have arranged special window displays for this occasion. There can not be too many agencies and individuals cooperating with the department during this week.
Illinois, through the office of the state fire marshal, has issued special posters and literature calling attention to the great fire losses throughout the country.
During the past few years, observance of Fire Prevention Week has acquired a national flavor. Each year, the President issues a special proclamation calling upon the people to give serious thought to the matter of reducing losses to lives and property by fire. It is very probable that this official document will be read in schools as part of the weekly or daily assembly.
Fire chiefs are well acquainted with the statistics of how many homes are destroyed throughout the country by fire each minute, how many schools go up in smoke, how many churches are lost, how many women and children are killed and other figures that speakers can mention. He has heard them so often that they have become boresome and meaningless to him. But the chief is overlooking a very important fact. Although such figures are tiresome, perhaps to the chief who is concerned with the more materialistic side of the profession, such information is new and probably interesting to the lay public. With the cooperation of the local editor, it may be possible to print short paragraphs in display type, playing up one part of these statistics.
Once the plans are started for Fire Prevention Week, civic organizations, and others interested in the welfare of their community are bound to cooperate.