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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 9, 1995




Since 1925, Americans have paused every October to consider the importance of learning how to prevent fires. By observing Fire Prevention Week, our Nation comes together to remember those lost tragically in fire-related incidents, to recognize the terrible damage that fire has caused over the years, and to renew our efforts to learn more about the ways in which we can protect ourselves from fire's devastation.

Some 4,000 people in the United States die from fire each year -- a number that can be reduced dramatically through prevention measures. Fires in the home take the biggest toll, with 80 percent of fatalities occurring just where we often feel the safest. Recognizing that cooking and heating equipment cause the majority of home fires, the National Fire Protection Association has selected "Watch What You Heat: Prevent Home Fires" as the Fire Prevention Week theme for 1995, joining with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's U.S. Fire Administration to communicate this lifesaving message.

This year's safety campaign teaches essential prevention techniques -- the necessity of staying in the kitchen while cooking and never leaving a lighted stove unattended; of closely supervising all heating equipment, such as portable and space heaters; and of monitoring all appliances and smoking materials. Most important, no matter how careful we are, we must always be prepared by maintaining working smoke detectors throughout our homes.

As we strive to make fire prevention a priority in every American community, we also celebrate the dedication of our Nation's fire and emergency workers -- champions of fire safety at the local level. Too often, these brave men and women pay the ultimate price for their faithful service. Last year alone, 100 firefighters died in the line of duty, and more than 95,400 were injured. On Sunday, October 15, 1995, we will pay our respects to these heroic individuals at the 14th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. To honor their courageous work, let us rededicate ourselves to building a better, safer world for the generations to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, 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 October 8 through October 14, 1995, as Fire Prevention Week. I encourage the people of the United States to plan and actively participate in fire prevention activities this week and throughout the year. I also call upon every citizen to pay tribute to firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty and to those men and women who carry on the noble tradition of service in our communities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.


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