It’s National Fire Prevention Month, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Agency. Fire Prevention Month originates from the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred in October of 1871. Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11th, marks the anniversary of the tragedy. Nearly 300 people perished, and over 100,000 were left homeless as 3.5 square miles of Central Chicago burned to the ground. During the month of October, remind yourself to test all of your home smoke detectors and replace batteries if needed (should be replaced once per year). It’s also a good time to make sure your home has a fire extinguisher handy and remind your family of escape routes and fire safety practices. I still remember “stop, drop and roll” from Kindergarten! It’s the perfect time of year to do fire protection maintenance around your home and business before the chilly weather sets in. Be sure to rake leaves and brush away from your home to create a defensible space to fight a fire if necessary. Also, use flameless, battery-operated candles, instead of real ones in your Jack-o-Lantern this Halloween. For more information, plus tips on fire prevention, visit www.NFPA.org.