Suggestion for Fire Protection Day—October 9
There has never been a year when fire prevention was more necessary than now. With the present system of price inflation, industrial unrest and scarcity of homes, and with the loss of life of over 1250 citizens per month, by fire, there is need of a work of construction which shall awaken our citizenship, not only for one day or one week, but for every day in the year. Now is the time for every real man to do a great work. The following are a few suggestions for special activities:
- Plan to have a Fire Prevention Committee appointed to take charge of the work. This committee should include members from all civic, educational and industrial interests in each city. Do not fail to have the Fire Chief on the committee. Members of the National Safety Council are heartily co-operating and should be on the committee.
When this committee is appointed, it should be made a permanent committee for all conservation and fire prevention work.
- Secure the wholehearted support of all newspapers in the community. This avenue prepares the entire city for active work. Plan the work on a large scale. Make news—newspapers want live new material with real action.
- Proclamations—by the Governor and Mayor of each city are very essential.
- MOTION PICTURE Houses—Slides bearing fire prevention material should be used everywhere. Special fire prevention film reels are available on application to the National Board Laboratories at Chicago.
- FOUR-MINUTE Speakers—The co-operation of all theatres for a fire prevention four-minute speech is always a real asset. You reach the public with the message most effectively.
- WINDOW Display—The use of large store windows to exhibit the ordinary serious hazards is strongly advocated. Captain Gasser of Newark, N. J., and Glenn Beall of Columbus, Ohio, have supplied very fine displays.
- Parades—Anything that is spectacular and well carried out is bound to arouse the public mind. Fire department apparatus well supplied with suitable educational placards, led by city officials and heads of all civic organizations, will attract special attention. Firemen who have been the means of saving lives or otherwise worthy of special honor are sometimes requested to ride in special conveyances. This item makes a good news story. Boy and Girl Scouts and school children with brooms or banners help.
- Placards—These should be placed in every store window, on wagons and delivery automobiles. A small special sticker for the windshield of all motor machines is of good effect.
- PULPIT Announcement—Co-operation of the ministry should be secured, so that announcements will be made of the work of the week, and sermons preached on the importance of conservation.
- Self-Inspection—Arrangement should be made for the self-inspection of every home and also every manufacturing plant. The results of inspection to be made by each on blanks prepared for the purpose. These should be printed and used locally under the direction and auspices of the committee. A copy of a valuable pamphlet of suggestions can be obtained by addressing the National Fire Protection Association headquarters, 87 Milk Street, Boston, Mass.
- Schools—All schools should observe the week preceding Fire Prevention Day by appropriate lessons, talks by uniformed firemen, public safety directors, city or state officials. A careful inspection of each school by an expert is desirable and a special fire drill called. A copy of a booklet of suggestive exercises can be secured from the National Fire Protection Association headquarters.
- PUBLIC Meetings—The work of the entire week should culminate and centralize in a large public meeting. The most influential men should be secured as leaders and speakers. A water expert should talk on the status of water protection. A special hazard expert on the special hazards of the city. The particular causes of fires in the home, mercantile or industrial plant should be strongly emphasized. The life hazard and loss is most startling—over 15,000 people were burned to death and over 17,000 injured in 1919. This makes a telling subject for some one qualified to handle it. The general results of the week’s work, and co-operation secured should be treated by another, ending with a special appeal to make the movement continuous every day of the year. A pamphlet giving appropriate exercises and suggestive topics and plans can be obtained by addressing the National Fire Protection Association headquarters.
Complete reports of the work, with copies of all advertising material and methods used should be sent to T. Alfred Fleming, Chairman of the Committee on Fire Prevention Day of the National Fire Protection Association at his office, 76 William Street, New York City, and also to the National Fire Protection Association office at 87 Milk Street, Boston, Mass.
A bulletin of the state fire marshal’s department of South Dakota says: “A summary of the various causes of fire as given by the state fire marshals of different states shows that the fires attributable to chimneys annually amount to from 10% to 26% of the total number, while in winter the percentage has reached as high as 50%.”