Fire Prevention Week observances to include exhibitions, route march

The Guyana Fire Service (GFS) is observing Fire Prevention Week from October 9 with a church service at the Ministry of Culture’s Sports Complex and number of exhibitions for school children.

This year’s activities are being observed under the theme, ‘Practice fire safety for better and safer communities,’ a press release from the Government Information agency (GINA) said. Fire prevention is any precautionary measure put in place to prevent a fire.

The roster for the week of activities includes an exhibition for school children from October 10 to 13 at 10 am the Uitvlugt Community Centre, West Coast Demerara; the National Stadium at Providence, East Bank Demerara; the Lusignan Community Centre on the East Coast Demerara and at the National Park, Thomas Lands. A public display will also be held on October 13 at the Fire Service Head-quarters, Stabroek at 3 pm.

Another exhibition for the public will be held at Fogarty’s pavement, Water Street at 9 am and a march starting from Square of the Revolution from 1 pm.

According to GINA, the week of activities are observed around the anniversary of one of the world’s worst conflagrations – the great Chicago fire of October 9, 1871 which claimed the lives of 250 persons, destroyed 17,430 buildings and left 100,000 people homeless.

To commemorate this tragedy, October 9 was first officially observed in 1911 as Fire Prevention Day and on recommendations from the National Fire Prevention Association it was extended to one week in the United States and Canada.

Subsequent to the amendment of the Fire Prevention Ordinance, the Fire Service established a committee in 1974 comprising members of the GFS to plan and execute a public awareness programme during the week, including on October 9. Since then, observations have been held annually.