National Fire Safety Week
National Fire Safety Week was today (3rd October) officially launched in Dublin Fire Brigade’s Training Centre in the O’Brien Institute, Marino, Dublin 3, by Mr Richard Bruton, T.D., Minister for Education and Skills.
National Fire Safety Week, 3rd - 10th October, jointly run with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, is about enhancing fire safety, particularly in the home. This year’s National Fire Safety Week theme is “STOP Fire – Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives.” This year’s campaign targets households who do not have smoke alarms fitted and encourages everyone to ensure that all smoke alarms are in good working order.
The Minister referred to this year’s National Fire Safety Week theme “STOP Fire – Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives” and said “having smoke alarms fitted is not enough, they must also be in good working order.”
“Tragically, on average, 36 people die in Ireland each year as a result of fire. House fires account for the vast majority of fire fatalities” the Minister continued. Both the very young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable and these groups account for almost half of the domestic fatalities. “As there are still homes with no smoke alarms, we need to maintain public awareness of the need to install smoke alarms. Most people who die in fires, die from smoke inhalation and not from burns and it can take as little as 3 minutes to die from smoke inhalation” the Minister added. The Minister asked family members, relatives and friends of the vulnerable to ensure they are protected against the risk of fire.
While National Fire Safety Week marks the beginning of an intensive media advertising campaign to run until the spring, it is imperative that public awareness of the dangers of fire be maintained throughout the year.
Note for editors:
National Fire Safety Week (3rd – 10th October) is run jointly with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and is about enhancing fire safety. The theme chosen for this year is “STOP Fire – Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives.”
This week is very important in the calendar of fire services around the world. National Fire Safety Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 8, 1871.
The former American President, Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week in 1925 in memory of those who perished in that fire. Since then, in early October, it has been observed each year in countries around the world. 145 years on, the message regarding fire prevention and fire safety is as relevant today as ever it was.
The key messages which are to be communicated are:
- there are still homes with no smoke alarms.
- most people who die in fires, die from smoke inhalation and not from burns and it can take as little as 3 minutes to die from smoke inhalation.
- the importance of disposing safely of smoking materials after use, especially at bedtime.
- vulnerable members of our community should not be overlooked.
- a routine fire safety check only takes a few minutes but could mean the difference between life and death.
- have a fire escape plan, teach it to your family and practise it regularly.
The TV and radio advertisement campaign for Fire Safety Week is a jointly sponsored project with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service. It is the beginning of an intensive media advertising campaign which will run throughout the winter months until spring.
The public can access information on fire safety on the website below.