Fire prevention week: Working smoke alarms save lives, test yours every month

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services Flight held several events around base Oct. 6-11, to help ensure Osan members are thinking about fire prevention.

This year's fire prevention week slogan was, "Working smoke alarms save lives, test yours every month!"

Fire department personnel educated everyone on the leading causes of home fires such as unattended cooking, improper use of heating devices, unsafe or overloaded electrical devices and storing flammable materials.

Osan is home to many Airmen who live in dormitories, as well as base housing.

"Fire prevention week is basically the fire department's opportunity to take one week out of the year to get involved with the community and promote fire safety," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Jones, 51st CES assistant chief of fire prevention. "If people are better aware of how they can protect their homes and different ways to keep themselves safe from fire they can save a lot of homes and lives."

During the week Sparky the Fire Dog and members of the Osan Air Base fire department visited the Youth Center, Osan Elementary school and the Base Exchange. They also had a Fire Department Safety Trailer display, Auto Extrication Demonstration, Firefighter Challenge, parade and open house at the Osan Fire Station.

According to the National Fire Protection Association website Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the 1871 Great Chicago Fire that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began Oct. 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on Oct. 9, 1871.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls.

Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

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