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Proclamation 6601—Fire Prevention Week, 1993

September 30, 1993

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Fire kills more Americans each year than all natural disasters combined, including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Unlike these natural disasters, many fire losses can be prevented. During this annual observance of Fire Prevention Week, we must make our fellow citizens more conscious of the dangers of fire and of what to do when fires occur.

This year's Fire Prevention Week theme, "Get Out, Stay Out: Your Fire Safe Response," drives home the importance of planning for fire emergencies before they occur. The United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association are working with the Nation's fire service to spread this important message. Time and time again, firefighters respond to fatal fires where residents didn't take the time to learn and practice alternate means of escape, or they did not realize the need to get out quickly and stay out. We need to teach our children that fires are not at all like they see in movies; fire spreads quickly and can rapidly become deadly. Thick smoke makes it difficult to see and breathe, and the temperature is scorching. The number one priority in every fire is to escape from the building and stay out.

I urge all Americans to learn how to respond quickly in case of a fire emergency, and I urge our Nation's employers to provide a fire emergency response plan for the workplace so that all employees will know what to do if fire occurs. Effective fire escape plans should include two ways out of every room, and assurance that all exists are accessible. Windows painted shut, blocked doors, and security bars can be deadly hazards that can trap fire victims inside and hinder rescuers' attempts from outside. Equally important, we must resist any temptation to reenter a burning building. No valuable is worth as much as a life.

Fire Prevention Week is a time not only to think about our own safety, but also to show our appreciation to the brave men and women who risk their safety in our Nation's fire services. Too often, their dedication results in the ultimate sacrifice. Last year, 80 firefighters died in the line of duty and more than 97,000 were injured. These courageous men and women will be honored on Sunday, October 10, 1993, during the Twelfth Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

We should also recognize the members of the other public and private organizations that are working toward our shared goal of fire safety, including the American Burn Association, the American Red Cross, the Congressional Fire

Service Institute, the Fire Marshals Association of North America, the International Association of Arson Investigators, the International Association of Blick Professional Firefighters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, and the National Volunteer Fire Council. The efforts of these and other organizations working for fire safety will be greatly enhanced if we as individual citizens learn and practice fire-safe behavior. I also commends the efforts of public officials, fire-fighters, educators, business leaders, and the community and volunteer organizations who are working together to bring about a safer America.

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, by virtue of die authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week beginning October 3, 1993, 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 of our safety.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hands this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.

Signature of William J. Clinton


William J. Clinton, Proclamation 6601—Fire Prevention Week, 1993 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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