Week started to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire in October of
1871. The Great Chicago Fire killed more than 250 people, left
100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned
more than 2,000 acres. United States
President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Prevention
week in 1925. President Coolidge noted that some 15,000 lives
were lost in the United States alone during the previous year.
"This waste results from the conditions which justify a sense of
shame and horror; for the greater part of it could and ought to be
prevented... It is highly desirable that every effort be made to
reform the conditions which have made possible so vast a destruction
of the national wealth".
-President Calvin Coolidge
Fire Protection Association continues today to make National Fire
Prevention Week a priority and counts on the participation of tens
of thousands of fire and safety personnel to reduce the risk of fire
and its toll on society. Fire Prevention week has historically
been observed beginning on the first Sunday in October and ending
the following Sunday.