President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1920 declaring the first National Fire Prevention Day and Fire Prevention Week has been observed annually since 1922. This awareness week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed over 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire started on October 8th and did not stop until the following day.
Sparky the Fire Dog has been the official mascot of Fire Prevention Week since 1951. His job is to teach children about fire safety. He even has his own website: http://www.sparky.org/ and http://www.sparky.org/parentpage/parents.htm.
Visit http://www.firepreventionweek.org/ for further information regarding fire safety.
Browse through these titles and those from previous years for some selections to share with your family or students. http://www.childrenslit.com/childrenslit/th_fireprevention.html
Edward and Judy visit a firehouse because Edwards wants to become a firefighter. It is not all fun and games--the first thing the Fire Chief wants them to do is help wash the fire truck. They go up to the crew’s quarters and the game of cards that he and Judy were playing is interrupted by a fire alarm bell. Everyone gets into their gear and slides down to the truck. Edward is literally hanging on to the back of the truck by his fingers. There is a bit of a mishap at the fire hydrant when the stream of water knocks Edward over. It takes teamwork to handle the hoses and climb up the ladder. This was a drill, but no sooner do they return to the firehouse when the alarm goes off again and this time it is a real emergency. (Although I am not sure that firefighters still will come and rescue cats caught up in trees). Teague’s collection of canines are amusing and expressive and kids will have fun looking for the little mice dressed as firefighters in nearly every scene, including the closing one where a tucked out Edward is fast asleep with the kitten he rescued sitting on his bed. 2010, Orchard Books/Scholastic, $16.99. Ages 3 to 5. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot (Children's Literature).