This is "National Fire Prevention Week", a time when we should take note of things we can do in our homes to keep us safe from fire and it's effects. I remember when I was a kid at Miller School in Utica, it was always exciting when that big red fire engine, the Utica Firemen and of course "Sparky The Fire Dog" came to our school during this week (and we got to go outside and get out of class).

Here's how it all got started, according to the National Fire Protection Association:

"Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls.

2014' Theme:

Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month

Did you know that many people don’t test their smoke alarms as often as they should? When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. You need working smoke alarms to give you time to get out. Test yours every month!

Home fires

In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage.

On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires per day from 2007 to 2011.

Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment.

Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.

Escape Planning

According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, more than half never practiced it.

One-third (32%) of respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!"

For a complete list of fire prevention tips, visit