Park Forest Designates Oct. 6-12 ‘Fire Prevention Week’

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- At last night’s Village Board meeting, Mayor John Ostenburg read a proclamation designating October 6-12 as Fire Prevention Week in Park Forest.

Generally, these resolutions are thoughtful. I learn a lot from the language used.

This resolution caught my ear in a special way. Some of the facts made me listen twice. For example, "working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in home fires by 50%; cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States where fire departments responded to more than 156,000 cooking fires annually between 2007 and 2011; children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire; and unattended equipment was a factor in one-third of the reported cooking fires."

Here’s the resolution. It merits your consideration:

WHEREAS, the Village of Park Forest is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all those living in and visiting our Village; and

WHEREAS, fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally, and homes are the locations where people are at greatest risk from fire; and

WHEREAS, home fires killed more than 2,500 people in the United States in 2011, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and fire departments in the United States responded to 370,000 home fires; and

WHEREAS, cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States where fire departments responded to more than 156,000 cooking fires annually between 2007 and 2011 ; and 

WHEREAS, two of every five home fires start in the kitchen; and

WHEREAS, unattended equipment was a factor in one-third of the reported cooking fires; and

WHEREAS, 57% of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves; and

WHEREAS, children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire; and

WHEREAS, Park Forest residents should stay in the kitchen when frying food on the stovetop, keep a three-foot kid-free zone around cooking areas and keep anything that can catch fire away from stove tops; and

WHEREAS, residents who have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan are more prepared and will therefore be more likely to survive a fire; and

WHEREAS, working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in home fires by 50%; and

WHEREAS, Park Forest’s first responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and home fire injuries through prevention and protection education; and

WHEREAS, Park Forest residents are responsive to public education measures and are able to take personal steps to increase their safety from fire, especially in their homes; and

WHEREAS, the 2013 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Prevent Kitchen Fires!” effectively serves to remind us to stay alert and use caution when cooking to reduce the risk of kitchen fires.

THEREFORE, I John A. Ostenburg, Mayor of the Village of Park Forest do hereby proclaim October 6-12, 2013, as Fire Prevention Week throughout the Village, and I urge all the residents of Park Forest to check their kitchens for fire hazards and use safe cooking practices, and to support the many public safety activities and efforts of Park Forest’s fire and emergency services.

Gary Kopycinski is editor and publisher of eNews Park Forest and a village trustee in Park Forest. His reporting is his own. eNews Park Forest, Inc. is an independent media company and is not affiliated with the Village of Park Forest in any way.