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Introduced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in 1919 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, fire departments across the United States observe Fire Prevention Week in October. This year, it is October 6-12.

Derby Fire and Rescue continues with the ambitious goal of reaching every student from kindergarten to second grade with this year’s fire prevention message. Every year in the U.S., 3,000 civilians die in fires and over 10,000 are injured. Derby Fire and Rescue has the goal of zero fire deaths in our community. A big part of reaching our goal is sharing the fire prevention message to our youngest population.

We have seen the results of our message at several residential fires. Many Derby families have smoke alarms and a meeting place established in case of a fire. This year, our focus is exit plans. Every sleeping area should have two ways out, such as a door and a window.

Have you ever thought about fire escapes away from home, such as when you are at a restaurant or out shopping? One example of too many people heading towards the same exit occurred during The Station night club fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island in 2003, which claimed 100 lives. This is an example of the importance of planning your escape.

Derby Fire & Rescue will provide a fun and engaging fire prevention message to students in kindergarten through second grade at Derby elementary schools during Fire Prevention Week. We are also available to bring the same message to daycares and preschool facilities if they call us to schedule.

If you would like an evaluation of your exit plan or have questions about fire prevention, call Derby Fire and Rescue at 788-3773 or contact Ken Linot, Firefighter II, at kennethlinot@derbyweb.com.

No matter your age, fire prevention is important for us all. Please plan and practice your fire escape.

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