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Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3-9

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Week proclamation; it marked the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres in 27 hours. Succeeding presidents have signed a proclamation pronouncing the national observance of Fire Prevention Week every year since 1925.

The observance this year will be Oct. 3-9. As official sponsor of the event, the National Fire Protection Association has chosen "It's Fire Prevention Week. Test your smoke alarms!" as the 2004 theme, to remind people how important it is to test their smoke detectors to make sure they're in top working condition.

The NIH Division of the Fire Marshal, Office of Research Services, wants to stress that during Fire Prevention Week, national attention is given to promoting public fire-safety awareness and education; however, fire takes no holiday or vacation, and what we learn must be practiced all year long both in the workplace and at home.

Fire prevention education is rewarding; the knowledge you will gain by attending such a program could save your life or someone near and dear to you. Once a fire starts there's no time to develop a plan. To have a fire-safety awareness training class arranged for your IC or office, contact the Division of the Fire Marshal, (301) 496-0487.

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