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Public Papers - 1991 - September

Proclamation 6338 -- Fire Prevention Week, 1991

1991-09-23

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

More than 5,000 people in the United States die each year as a result of fire -- most of them in their homes. Tens of thousands more suffer painful and often disfiguring fire-related injuries. If we are to prevent such tragic losses in the future, all Americans must learn how to identify and to avoid fire hazards. Moreover, all of us -- especially children and older adults -- must know what to do in case fire strikes.

Fire prevention begins with recognizing and changing risky behaviors such as careless smoking; fire prevention is as simple as keeping matches and lighters out of reach of children. These and other basic measures -- such as safe storage of combustible materials -- can save lives. Americans can also reduce their risk of dying in a home fire by installing and properly maintaining an adequate number of smoke detectors.

While smoke detectors can give an early warning of fire, planning ahead for emergencies enables individuals and families to make good use of that warning. Hence, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has selected ``Fire Won't Wait -- Plan Your Escape'' as the theme of Fire Prevention Week, 1991. The NFPA is working to remind all Americans that there is no time for planning once a fire starts, so advanced preparation is vital. In the same spirit, the United States Fire Administration continues to coordinate other public education campaigns that are designed to promote fire safety. These campaigns complement NFPA efforts.

During this annual observance of Fire Prevention Week, I urge all Americans to develop and practice a home fire escape plan. Ideally, such a plan should include two ways out of every room, as well as a designated meeting place outside for all members of the family. Parents should teach their children the importance of crawling close to the floor to avoid smoke and noxious fumes, as well as the ``stop, drop, and roll'' technique for extinguishing flames on one's clothing.

This week, as we dedicate ourselves to fire prevention, let us also recognize all those individuals who are working toward the same goal. These include the members of the Congressional Fire Services Institute; the International Association of Fire Fighters; the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters; the National Volunteer Fire Council; the International Society of Fire Service Instructors; the Fire Marshals Association of North America; the National Association of State Fire Marshals; and all other public and private organizations that conduct fire safety education programs.

On this occasion, let us offer special thanks to the Nation's volunteer and professional fire fighters, who frequently put themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and the property of their fellow Americans. And, of course, let us remember with grateful prayers those fire fighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week beginning October 6, 1991, as Fire Prevention Week. I urge all Americans to plan and to participate in fire prevention activities -- this week and throughout the year.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.

George Bush

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:06 p.m., September 23, 1991]

Note: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register on September 25.

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