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    USAG Italy Recognizes National Fire Prevention Week 2020



    Story by Laura Kreider 

    U.S. Army Garrison Italy

    VICENZA, Italy - This year's National Fire Prevention Week is recognized October 4-10.
    The origins of Fire Prevention Week date back to Oct. 8, 1871, when the Great Chicago Fire devastated the city, killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

    Since 1922, the National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA) has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week and three years later, in 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, recognized as the longest public health observance in the States.
    This year's theme is "Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen".

    U.S. Army Garrison Italy Fire Chief Jeff Hawkins reports data from NFPA that household cooking remains the leading cause of home fires.
    "Never leave cooking unattended. It only takes a second for disaster to occur. The smoke detector should not be used to determine if dinner is done," said Hawkins.

    He also explained that it is important to have a plan in case there is a fire in the area where you are.
    "Always look for two ways out, making sure everyone with you is aware of the plan; also, pick a rally point for everyone to go to allow you to account for everyone," Hawkins said.
    He also recommends, "Don't panic: just leave by the quickest way out."

    Per tradition, during Fire Prevention Week, children, adults and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire.
    According to Hawkins, fire prevention education program empowers everyone to be able to recognize and stop a problem before in occurs therefore reducing the threat of fire.

    "Fire Prevention education is the foundation of the fire department. Nobody wants to have an uncontrolled fire that could kill or injure someone or cause their valuables to be damaged or destroyed. Fire prevention focuses on stopping a fire long before it occurs. It relates around safe practices where we live, work or play," he said.
    Hawkins added some important reminders to help the community to stay safe.

    They include cooking and other tips such as: use your fan; don't leave cooking unattended; oil is not supposed to smoke; do not overload electrical circuits; turn them off when not in use and unplug electrical equipment (if possible) when you leave; change the batteries in your smoke detectors: when the time changes is a great reminder to change the batteries. Last but not least: know how to call for help.

    The fire department hopes the USAG Italy community becomes aware of how to report a fire in Italy.
    "Here in Italy we don't use 911 like in the States," he said.
    In fact the number to dial from a DSN is 117, while from a phone it is 0444-71 7117 from Vicenza, and 050-54 7117 from Darby.

    "Your Garrison Fire and Emergency Services are here for you. Our dedicated team can answer any questions that you may have on fire safety. Please feel free to contact us and we will gladly assist the best that we can," said Hawkins.

    Fire Prevention Section number
    Vicenza Military Community - DSN 646-5509/Comm 0444-71-5509
    Darby Military Community - DSN 633- 8390/Comm 050-54-8390

    Fire station number for non-emergencies
    Caserma Ederle Fire Station - DSN 646-5506/Comm 0444-71-5506
    Caserma Del Din Fire Station - DSN 646-5535/Comm 0444-71-5535



    Date Taken: 10.08.2020
    Date Posted: 10.09.2020 10:04
    Story ID: 380635
    Location: IT

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