The National Fire Prevention Association has observed Fire Prevention Week since 1922.

The National Fire Prevention Association has observed Fire Prevention Week since 1922.

Photo provided by the city of Birmingham


Fire Prevention Week celebrates 100 years

Danger of carbon monoxide from generators to be a focus this year

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 4, 2022

BIRMINGHAM — The week of Oct. 9 marks the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week for the National Fire Protection Association.

The NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week since 1922, and in 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance. It is now the longest-running public health observance in the nation.

The week of Oct. 9 was chosen as the date to observe Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct. 8, 1871.

People of all ages are encouraged to further develop their understanding of how to stay safe in case of a fire.

Each year, the Birmingham Fire Department observes Fire Prevention Week through community outreach and education.

During the week in October each year, Birmingham sends out firefighters to various schools in the area to talk about fire prevention such as stop, drop and roll; the importance of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors; and not playing with fire.

Some schools bring their students to the Fire Department during Fire Prevention Week.

One thing Fire Chief Paul Wells said he plans to emphasize this year is the danger of carbon monoxide from generators.

He said he has seen whole house generators or portable generators that are not properly installed or are too close to an opening of the house that have been associated with carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We are starting to see a trend, so we need to take an opportunity to talk to our citizens during this time about that habit,” Wells said. “It is not just smoke detectors — carbon monoxide detectors are just as important.”

Leading into this year’s Fire Prevention Week is the Birmingham Fire Department Open House event on Saturday, Oct. 8. Families are invited to this interactive event 1-4 p.m. at Fire Station 1. There will be both fun and educational elements to this event.

“The Fire Department Open House is educational and fun for those of all ages. After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, we are so pleased to welcome the community back to Fire Station 1,” Birmingham Communications Director Marianne Gamboa said. “Children will enjoy an inflatable obstacle course, face painting, educational swag bags, operating a fire hose and more.”

This event gives the community an up-close look at emergency vehicles, including Birmingham’s first water pumping fire truck from 1924.

For anyone with public safety questions, the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad and a Birmingham police officer will also be on-site.

An EMS and vehicle extrication simulation with airbag deployments, along with hazmat apparatus and equipment, will also take place at the event for attendees to watch.

Food such as popcorn, cookies, firehouse chili and hot dogs will be available at the event.

More information on Fire Prevention Week can be found at nfpa.org.