This year’s National Fire Prevention Week, held October 4-10, focuses on preventing fires in the home and tips on keeping yourself safe. While structure fires claim many homes each year, Texas Forest Service and Smokey Bear wants to remind everyone that wildfires can be destructive and deadly as well.
More than 90 percent of the wildfires in Texas occur within two miles of a community, and several communities in Texas have, unfortunately, found out firsthand the devastating effects of wildfires. In 2009 alone, Texas Forest service has responded to more than 1,300 fires that have burned more than 360,000 acres. Two hundred fifty-eight Texans have lost their homes to wildfires this year.
During fire prevention week and throughout the year, state and local fire officials urge everyone to practice fire safety – both indoors and out. Across the Lone Star State, people cause more than 90 percent. Carelessness with burning household trash, brush piles and other debris are the leading causes of wildfires in Texas.
“Unsafe acts both inside and outside the home can put people at risk of burns and destruction of property,” said Bruce Woods, head of the Texas Forest Service Mitigation and Prevention Department. “It’s indeed appropriate that everyone use good fire safety practices wherever they happen to be. One unsafe act could put lives and property and even whole communities at risk of wildfire losses.”
Check with your local fire department to see if presentations or events are scheduled to celebrate Fire Prevention Week.
For more information on how Fire Prevention Week started, read the History of Fire Prevention Week.