National Fire Safety Week for 2021 was virtually launched today (Monday, October 4).

National Fire Safety Week, held from October 4 to 11 and jointly run with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, is about enhancing fire safety.

This year’s National Fire Safety Week theme is: “Working smoke alarms save lives – test yours weekly”.

As the country responded to Covid-19, people 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. It is hoped that the public will be helped to build and maintain good fire safety habits as routines return to some sort of normality.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said: “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 encourage the public to think ‘STOP’ fire.”

SSmoke alarms – have at least one on each floor
TTest them every week
OObvious dangers – look for fire risks like overloaded sockets and solve them
PPlan 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.”

This week is 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.