2021’s virtualNational Fire Safety Week was officially launched this morning via an online video by Mr. Darragh O’Brien, TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
National Fire Safety Week, 4th - 11th 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:
“Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Test Yours Weekly” or “Sábhálann aláraim deataigh atá ag obair i gceart saolta – déan tástáil orthu go rialta”.
As the country responded to Covid-19 we spent more time at home. It was more important than ever that we were all aware of the steps we can take to protect ourselves and our homes from fire. Now, as society begins to open back up, and we return to work and education, it is important we don’t get complacent.
The campaign focuses on fire safety in the home, encouraging all homes to have smoke alarms and to test them weekly. We hope to help the public build and maintain good Fire Safe habits as routines return to some sort of normality.
Minister O’Brien reminds us, ‘Most fires recorded in Ireland start in domestic settings. Since our community fire safety programmes started there has been a significant and steady decline in the number of fire fatalities, so let’s build on that success’, and encourages the public to think STOP fire.
Smoke Alarms – Have at least one on each floor
Test them every week
Obvious Dangers – Look for fire risks like overloaded sockets and solve them
Plan your Escape and practise it regularly
Dublin Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer, Dennis Keeley, also spoke to highlight the part the public can play: ‘All of us can take meaningful steps to reduce the risk of fire in our homes. We encourage all householders to install and maintain smoke alarms, and test smoke alarms regularly’.
Minister O’Brien also took the opportunity to highlight the ERASMUS+ funded BeFireSafe@School project. BFireSafe@School is a newly developed teacher-led fire safety education resource for post-primary students in Europe, and is the first harmonised fire safety programme to be developed for schools across Europe. This new resource places student wellbeing and personal safety at the centre of learning and aims to ensure students learn the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to keep themselves and others safe from fire.
While National Fire Safety Week marks the beginning of an intensive media advertising campaign to run until Spring 2022, it is imperative that public awareness of the dangers of fire be maintained throughout the year.
Note for editors
National Fire Safety Week (4th – 11th 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:
“Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Test Yours Weekly” or “Sábhálann aláraim deataigh atá ag obair i gceart saolta – déan tástáil orthu go rialta”
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.
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.
The key messages which are to be communicated are:
- There are still homes with no smoke alarms.
- Smoke alarms should be tested every week. The Fire Services use #TestItTuesday as a reminder.
- Most fire fatalities are attributed to smoke inhalation and not from burns. It can take as little as 3 minutes to die from smoke inhalation.
- Looking out for obvious dangers around the home, unattended open flames, faulty electrical appliances, over loaded sockets, smoking in bed, leaving doors open at night, etc.
- Do not overlook vulnerable members of our community who may need support staying fire safe.
- 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 marks 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.