National Fire Safety Week 2019
National Fire Safety Week was officially launched today at Central Fire Station, Bankmore Street, Belfast BT7 1AQ on Monday 7th October 2019 at 10:30am.
National Fire Safety Week, 7th - 14th 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 “Safer Together”. The campaign asks that members of our communities visit vulnerable relatives, neighbours and friends and ensure they are mindful of fire safety, have working smoke alarms and have an escape plan in the event of a fire. We can all be #safertogether.
Unfortunately, on average 32 people die in Ireland each year as a result of fire. House fires account for the vast majority of fire fatalities. Both the very young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable and these groups account for almost half of the domestic fatalities. Most people, who die in fires, die from smoke inhalation and not from burns and this can take as little as 3 minutes. All family members, relatives and friends of the vulnerable are asked to ensure they are protected against the risk of fire.
Speaking at the event, Minister Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government said, “This year’s theme, ‘Safer Together’, is a welcome reminder that we all have a part to play to keep ourselves, and each other, safe from the dangers of fire. The campaign not only encourages people to have smoke alarms and test them but also for the wider community to look out for each other – especially those most vulnerable and at risk. This year’s theme asks that communities check in with vulnerable relatives, neighbours and friends and ensure they are mindful of fire safety, have working smoke alarms and have an escape plan in the event of a fire. We can all be ‘safer together’.”
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 (7th - 14th 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 “Safer Together”.
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. 148 years on from the Great Chicago Fire, 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:
- Safer Together - Vulnerable members of our community should not be overlooked. Ensure they have working smoke alarms, are mindful of their fire safety and that they have a plan in place should a fire occur.
- The incidence of serious house fires is much higher for older people living alone.
- Smoke alarms should be tested regularly; as soon as it beeps – change the batteries or replace the alarm.
- 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.
- 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 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 as below.