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This year Toms River Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher announces that Fire Prevention Week is October 7th through October 13th and this year’s theme is “Have Two Ways Out”.  The presentation of a Proclamation will take place at the Toms River Township Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. by the Mayor and Township Council to the Toms River Fire Bureau.

            Fire Prevention Week has been a successful public safety campaign for many years, thanks in part to the hundreds of thousands of firefighters across the nation who work hard to reach the community we serve with fire safety messages and reminders. The week claims its roots from the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8th, 1871, causing most of its damage the following day.

            The fire was legendary, killing hundreds of people, and leaving thousands homeless in addition to the destruction of thousands of structures and acreage.  For a long period of time, everyone believed the fire started as a result of a cow kicking over a lamp, setting the barn on fire, but the story has been largely discredited. While the Great Chicago Fire is certainly one of the most devastating, so was another fire, the Peshtigo Wisconsin Forest Fire that killed more than a thousand on the same day in 1871.  On the 40th anniversary of the fires, the former Fire Marshals of North America (now known as the International Fire Marshals Association) sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day, advocating the annual observation as a way to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.

            In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Week proclamation, and since 1922 National Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday in which October 9th falls, keeping in mind that the ninth was the day most of the damage occurred in Chicago.

            This year Fire Prevention Week is October 7th through October 13th and the theme is “Have Two Ways Out.”  We encourage everyone in our community to learn how to prevent and protect themselves from the perils of fire. In Toms River Township, we are planning activities that will help teach business owners, school children, municipal workers, and residents alike how to stay safe.

 

 

 

 

            What should Fire Prevention Week mean to you and your family? It should be a time to make sure that your home will stay free from fire. It’s an opportunity to check for hazards, to check batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, to inspect your electrical wiring for frayed cords, to review with your children a home escape plan, and to check and have serviced your home heating system, if needed.

            Above all, use good common sense, and always be aware of your surroundings.

            Again this year, remembering the might of the huge fire will inspire us to work together to make Toms River Township the most fire safe community in the nation.