With a wildfire being one of the greatest threats to Payson, the town council recognized Oct. 6-12 as Fire Prevention Week.
The week has a long history beyond Payson.
Started in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge, the National Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Forty years after that fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America sponsored Oct. 9 as a day to remind people of fire prevention.
The day always lists how many people died and structures destroyed by fire in the previous year.
“Home fires killed 2,630 people in the United States in 2017,” according to the National Fire Protection Association.
One reason for so many home fire deaths, residents only have two minutes to escape to safety once the fire alarm goes off.
The proclamation advises residents to prepare an escape plan, starting with a map of each level of the home showing all doors and windows.
Then practice that plan at least twice a year, during the day and night.
Children need to know how to escape without adult help.
If in a real emergency, homeowners need, “to get low and go under the smoke to get out quickly. Once out, do not return for people, pets, or things.
Mayor Tom Morrissey urged “all the people of Payson to be aware of their surroundings, look for available ways out in the event of a fire or other emergency, response when the smoke alarm sounds by exiting the building immediately, and to support the many public safety activities and efforts to Payson’s fire and emergency services during Fire Prevention Week 2019.”
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