On Oct. 7-9, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire burned out of control for three full days. The fire claimed 250 lives and destroyed 2,000 city acres. At the same time, in Peshtigo, Wisc., a massive fire claimed another 800 lives. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day of the fires Fire Prevention Day. Later, in 1922, President Warren Harding proclaimed Fire Prevention Week, always to be held on the week in which Oct. 9 falls.

This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The Wilton Fire Department would like to emphasize that in a fire, every second counts. It is important for members of the community to know what to do if there is a fire. Fire safety education is not just for school children.

The U.S. Fire Administration offers the following tips:

Look for places a fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and  windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

For more information, call 203-834-6249 or visit us at the firehouse.
Rocco Grosso
Wilton Fire Marshal