Each year, Fire Prevention Week is held the week of Oct. 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This year, the National Fire Prevention Association is promoting the prevention concepts “Look, Listen and Learn!”
Look – for places where a fire could start, such as a kitchen, garage or trash bin.
Listen – for the sound of a smoke alarm.
Learn – two ways out of every room.
While prevention is key, so are smoke detectors, which should be placed on each floor of your home, and outside of bedrooms. Remember to change the batteries when you change your clocks.

It’s also important to listen for alarms and practice safe ways to get out of the home with your family, friends and roommates. While we never know when an emergency will occur, it’s always best to be prepared!
Practice fire safety at home, work or places you go for recreation by keeping ignition sources, such as fire or hot, smoldering or smoking items, away from flammable materials and fluids. Never use an open flame on a windy day, and do not burn openly. Keep all fires contained in an approved burning device such as a fireplace or a commercial fire pit made for burning clean wood safely.
Stay safe and be sure you do your part to promote fire safety, this and every month!

Randy Richman is a part-time Brookfield firefighter and paramedic, firefighting instructor and regional director for hyperbaric medicine for Shared Health Service Inc.