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October is Fire Prevention Month
Ketchikan Fire Department Offering "Free" Smoke Alarms


October 02, 2003
Thursday - 1:00 am

In conjunction with the Fire Prevention Division for the State of Alaska, your local fire departments are recognizing October 2003 as "Fire Prevention Month". Firefighters from Ketchikan, South Tongass, and North Tongass fire departments will be visiting local schools and groups delivering important fire-safety messages to children and adults. Fire personnel will also be conducting fire station tours by appointment at area fire stations.

National Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11, 2003 has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 9, 1871. This conflagration killed more than 300 people, left 100,000 citizens homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. The origin of the fire has generated speculation since its occurrence, with fact and fiction getting inner-mixed over the years. One popular legend is Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lamp, setting her barn on fire, which resulted in the spectacular blaze. However it started, the fire took its toll by burning more than 2,000 acres of property in 27 hours.

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, 1925. He was disturbed because the year before (1924), 15,000 people lost their lives due to fires in the United States. Since its inception in 1925, Fire Prevention Week and fire prevention activities throughout the year have reduced fire related deaths from nearly 12,000 per year in the early 1970's to less than 6,000 per year today. We still have a long way to go. With smoke alarms, technologically advanced fire warning systems, strict fire code enforcement, and public education, we can reduce fire related deaths and injuries even further.

The Ketchikan Fire Department offers "Free" smoke alarms to anyone who needs one. Just like last years' program, with the help of McDonald's and KPU's Telephone Division, the Ketchikan Fire Department has another 100 smoke alarms to distribute to families on the island. Because of the number of boat fires in Ketchikan over the last year, not only will the Ketchikan Fire Department give "free" smoke alarms to those who live in dwellings, the Ketchikan Fire Department also encourages those who live and camp on boats to get a smoke detector, put it in your boat, and regularly maintain it.

For further information on fire prevention programs, activities, and "Free" smoke alarms, contact Assistant Fire Chief Jim Hill at the Ketchikan Fire Department, 225-5940


Source of News Release:

Ketchikan Fire Department


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