Fire Prevention Day exists both to raise awareness of practices that can help prevent these disasters, and to recognise the work of the fire-fighters who relieve them. It is also often used to commemorate particularly famous and devastating fires in individual communities, such as the Great Chicago Fire in North America. According to legend, this fire was started when a Mrs O’Leary’s milch cow kicked over a lantern in her shed.
Fire Prevention Days have kicked off with slogans such as ‘Fire Feeds on Careless Deeds’ and ‘Don’t Give Fire a Place to Start.’ During the celebration, people congratulate fire-fighters and promote various fire-prevention and fire-safety material. Examples include the ‘EDITH’ (Exit Drills In The Home) acronym, which encourages families to have an escape strategy planned in case of fire; drives to install smoke alarms and check them regularly, and awareness of other danger-spots for fire, from unattended candles to cooking stoves.