National Fire Prevention Week is observed in the United States and Canada, during the week (from Sunday to Saturday) in which October 9th falls. In the United States, the first Presidential proclamation of Fire Prevention Week was made in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) continues to be the international sponsor of the week.
The Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire. On the 40th anniversary (1911) of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (FMANA); the oldest membership section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day, deciding to observe the anniversary as a way to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. In May of 1919, when the NFPA held its 23rd annual meeting in Ottawa at the invitation of the Dominion Fire Prevention Association (DFPA), the NFPA and DFPA both passed resolutions urging governments in the United States and Canada to support the campaign for a common Fire Prevention Day. This was expanded to Fire Prevention Week in 1922. The non-profit NFPA, which has officially sponsored Fire Prevention Week since its inception, selects the annual theme for Fire Prevention Week.
When President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week on October 4 - October 10, 1925, he noted that in the previous year some 15,000 lives were lost to fire in the United States. Calling the loss "startling", Coolidge's proclamation stated: "This waste results from the conditions which justify a sense of shame and horror; for the greater part of it could and ought to be prevented... It is highly desirable that every effort be made to reform the conditions which have made possible so vast a destruction of the national wealth".