October 9th is the start of Fire Prevention Week, commemorating the Great Chicago Fire. The fire broke out on October 8th, 1871, killing 300 people and leaving 90,000 others homeless. By October 10th, the fire had burned an area of 2,000 acres and destroyed 17,500 buildings.

Since 1922, the National Fire Prevention Association has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed a national observance for Fire Prevention Week.

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To take part in observing Fire Prevention Week, we here at Kiser Construction put together 10 tips for fire safety and prevention:

  1. Install smoke detectors in every room of your home, and check their batteries once a month.
  2. Keep at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home as well as in the garage. Educate your family on how to properly use them.
  3. Make sure your kids know how to call 9-1-1, ensuring they call only in case of emergency.
  4. Never leave a stove or grill unattended when in use. Cooking is the leading cause of house fires.
  5. Check and maintain your appliances, especially dryers. Clean lint traps after every use.
  6. Use heating equipment, such as space heaters, with caution.
  7. Have your fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year.
  8. Always keep an eye out for potential fire hazards, like damaged extension cords and overloaded outlets.
  9. Smoking is another leading cause of house fires. If you smoke, avoid doing so indoors and always safely dispose of your cigarettes.
  10. Have a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Identify two exits per room in your plan. Designate a safe meeting spot outside your home as well.