Fire Prevention Week begins Published Oct. 6, 2015 By Paul Garcia 90th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services assistant chief of fire prevention F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. -- What does Fire Prevention Week mean and why do we observe it? Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began Oct.8 that year but continued into, and did most of its damage, the next day. Fire Prevention Week starts Oct. 5. This year's theme is "Hear the beep where you sleep. Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm!" A working smoke detector can be the difference between you and your family making it out safely of a smoke filled home that may be on fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, every bedroom should have a working smoke detector. In addition, there should be one outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in structures without working smoke detectors. The risk of dying in home fires is cut in half in homes with working smoke detectors. Smoke detector failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries. "[The] rule of thumb is to change your battery in October when the we change the clocks back and then replace again in the Spring when we change the clocks forward" says John McDougall, F.E. Warren Air Force Base fire chief. "This ensures a working detector year-round". Please feel free to contact the F.E Warren Fire Department at 773-2931 for any further information.