As of today, at least 1,700 people have died in fires across the United States in 2021; of which 94 fire-related deaths occurred in New York State. October not only brings a change in seasons, but also some significant holidays or events, each of which come with their own safety issues to address. Here are a few topics on which to focus throughout the month:
Fire Prevention Week: Every Fire & Life Safety Educators’ biggest “event” of the year has arrived!!! Sunday, October 3rd will kick off Fire Prevention Week 2021, drawing both local and national attention to how we protect our customers from the perils of fire. Whether your agency has the opportunity for in-person educational interactions or is limited to virtual education (videos or social media), you can find some great resources to help your customer “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” by following these links:
Also, please feel free to distribute the “Home Safety Checklist”, “EDITH”, & “Carbon Monoxide” pamphlets attached to this email. The combination of these pamphlets will hit all of the major educational points the align with this year’s theme without overwhelming your customer with information. If you are looking for similar information in other languages, use this link to access the “Home Fire Safety Tips” pamphlet in 10 different languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, & Yiddish (http://www.dhses.ny.gov/ofpc/publications/index.cfm#pamphlets)
Halloween: While we look to have fun during this “spooky” time of year, let’s work to make sure it doesn’t become a deadly one. Haunted houses, costumes, and various decorations all come with their own associated potential hazards. Check out the attached “Haunted House” and “Halloween” pamphlets from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention & Control, as well as the following link for information and resources to help us safely enjoy Halloween:
October 8, 1871 – Two significant fires started on the same date that would impact all Americans for centuries to come. The fires that occurred in Peshtigo, Wisconsin (2,500 dead, 17 communities burned, & 1.2 million acres destroyed) and Chicago, Illinois (300 dead, 100,000 homeless) would eventually lead to changes within each of the 5 E’s of fire & life safety education. From educational methods to building & fire codes, engineered fire protection systems, a realization of economic impacts, and tactical considerations during emergency response, the effects of these incidents were the catalyst for how we look at the fire safety threat on a national level. In 1911 (the 40th anniversary of these events), the Fire Marshals Association of North America (FMANA); the oldest membership section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day, deciding to observe the anniversary as a way to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. This event received its first presidential proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920. In 1922, NFPA extended Fire Prevention Day to Fire Prevention Week, occurring annually during the week of October 9th (Sunday – Saturday). When President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week on October 4–10, 1925, he noted that 15,000 lives were lost in the previous year to fire in the United States. Calling the loss "startling", Coolidge's proclamation stated: "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". Follow these links for more information regarding these incidents:
Information from Center for Disease Control regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Prevention As a best practice for overall health in cold and influenza season, the CDC recommends that individuals receive the influenza vaccination and engage in everyday, preventative measures to prevent the spread of germs and avoid illness, such as: · Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. · Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands. · Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick. · Stay home when you are sick. · Cover your cough or sneeze with the crease of your elbow. · Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. · Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed by your physician. More Information If you or a family member start showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, or the hospital emergency room, inform them that you may be a suspect case for COVID-19, and follow their advice. For more information, consider consulting these additional resources: 1. Novel Coronavirus (NYS Department of Health) 2. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC) 3. Information for Travel (CDC) 4. FAQ for Travelers (CDC) 5. Prevention & Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 6. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Frequently Asked Questions – Prevention In addition, New York has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline, which can provide additional information. Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms. Updates from these sources can help to keep you and others healthy!