Each October, the Casa Grande Fire Department joins with the National Fire Prevention Association to celebrate National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s celebration will be during the week of October 8 – 14, 2017. Be sure to check back to this website as that week approaches for more information on event activities. In the meantime, please check out these fun facts about Fire Prevention Week.
- According to legend, on October 8, 1871, a Mrs. O’Leary was in her barn, milking her cow. The cow kicked over a lamp, which started the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and burned for over 27 hours. When it was over, more than 250 people were killed, 100,000 people were left homeless, over 17,000 structures were destroyed and it burned more than 2,000 acres across the city.
- People have been blaming the Great Chicago Fire on Mrs. O’Leary cow for more than 130 years. Mrs. O’Leary denied this charge. Recent research by Chicago historian Robert Cromie has helped to debunk this version of events. But if a cow wasn’t to blame for the huge fire, what was? Over the years, journalists and historians have offered plenty of theories. Some blamed the blaze on a couple of neighborhood boys who were near the barn sneaking cigarettes. Others believed that a neighbor of the O’Leary’s may have started the fire. Unfortunately, it still remains unsolved.
- The Great Chicago fire sparked major efforts in fire prevention. Over fifty years later President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week on October 4-10, 1925, beginning a tradition of the President of the United States signing a proclamation recognizing the occasion. It is observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began October 8, 1871, and did most of its damage October 9.
- The Saturday during Fire Prevention Week is Fire Service Recognition Day.
- Fire Prevention Week is on record as the longest running public health observance, according to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center.
NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922 when the commemoration