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Proclamation 5968—Fire Prevention Week, 1989

May 02, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

During the past year, fire claimed the lives of almost 6,000 of our fellow citizens. Many thousands more were severely injured by fire, and billions of dollars of property was destroyed. Eighty-five percent of the deaths caused by fire last year occurred in residential properties. Fire is especially devastating to the most vulnerable members of our society: children and the elderly.

This year, the United States Fire Administration has launched a campaign aimed at the very young entitled "Curious Kids Set Fires." The National Fire Protection Association, the originator of Fire Prevention Week, has selected a companion theme: "Big Fires Start Small: Keep matches and lighters in the right hands." Complementing these efforts is a private sector initiative, "Plan to Get Out Alive," a house escape planning program developed with the assistance of the U.S. Fire Administration. All of these programs are designed to make the American public more aware of the dangers of fire in their homes.

I commend the efforts of public officials, firefighters, business leaders, and community and volunteer organizations who are working together to bring about a safer America. I especially commend the men and women of the American fire service -- volunteer and career -- who risk injury and death to protect the lives and property of their fellow citizens.

The great risks and sacrifices involved in their work are clearly evidenced each year during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Services at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. On October 15 of this year, the families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and representatives of the Nation's fire service will gather from all over America to honor and pray for the 126 heroic individuals who perished in 1988.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, 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 8, 1989, as Fire Prevention Week. I call upon the people of the United States to plan and actively participate in fire prevention activities not only this week, but throughout the year. I also ask all Americans to pay tribute to those firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 5968—Fire Prevention Week, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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