Proclamation 5535 -- Fire Prevention Week, 1986

 

September 30, 1986

 

By the President of the United States

 

of America

 

A Proclamation

 

The American people must redouble their efforts to prevent fires and their terrible toll in human lives and the destruction of property. There are encouraging signs: Today smoke detectors have been installed in 75 percent of American homes. Our target is 100 percent. National public awareness campaigns have prompted many families to plan and practice means of quick escape if fire strikes in the home. Fire safety concepts, such as ``Stop, Drop, and Roll'' to smother a clothing fire, are gaining currency. Many homes have installed sprinkler systems to extinguish fires quickly, and more Americans are making it a practice to keep fire extinguishers handy in the home, especially in the kitchen, where many fires start. There is an increased awareness and avoidance of such dangerous practices as smoking in bed, leaving matches where young children can get at them, and overloading electrical circuits.

 

Despite all these efforts, the annual deaths, injuries, and economic losses from fire are still staggering. We cannot afford any letup in our efforts to prevent fires.

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and its United States Fire Administration are working with all levels of government, the private sector, service organizations, and volunteer groups to launch a national campaign to assure that every home in the United States has a properly installed and maintained smoke detector. The Operation Life Safety program, a consortium of the private sector, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and the United States Fire Administration, also is making valuable contributions by encouraging the installation of residential sprinkler systems. Over 150 communities have established such programs at last count.

 

We are very proud of, and grateful to, our Nation's fire fighters: the more than one million men and women, both volunteer and career, who daily risk their own lives to save the lives and property of others. Last year 122 fire fighters gave their lives in the line of duty. They are true heroes to whom we owe a lasting debt of gratitude. I am pleased to know they will be honored at the National Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Service at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland, on October 12.

 

I commend the many national, State, and local organizations whose dedicated commitment to fire safety has done so much to reduce our Nation's fire losses in the last decade, and I am grateful for the contributions of the National Fire Protection Association, the originator of Fire Prevention Week, and I congratulate this organization as it celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

 

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, 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 5, 1986, as Fire Prevention Week, and I call upon the people of the United States to plan and actively participate in fire prevention activities during this week and throughout the year.

 

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 9:41 a.m., October 1, 1986]