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WHEREAS, fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally, and homes are the locations where people are at greatest risk from fire; and
WHEREAS, the 2019 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape,” effectively serves to remind us that fire prevention is a recurring practice to guard against loss of life and property; and
WHEREAS, fires killed 61 people and injured 404 civilians in Virginia in 2018, and fire departments in Virginia responded to more than 25,000 fires; and
WHEREAS, from 2014-2018, more than 1,850 people were injured from fires in Virginia; an average of approximately 370 Virginians injured by fires annually; and
WHEREAS, careless smoking and improperly discarded smoking materials remain the leading cause of fatal fires in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, Virginia residents should install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home; and
WHEREAS, fire science research shows that closing bedroom doors can impede the progress of a fire spreading; and
WHEREAS, only 47% of Americans have practiced a home fire escape plan; and
WHEREAS, Fire Prevention Week is an opportunity for Virginians to educate themselves on the best practices necessary to prevent fires from spreading and to actively plan for escape routes if emergency strikes and to thank the brave men and women who serve as firefighters;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 6-12, 2019, as FIRE PREVENTION WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.