By the President of the United States of America
The United States of America and its people continue to be victims of destructive fires at a rate unmatched in the industrialized world. For this reason, it is essential that we all be aware of the potential for tragedy from fire and that we do all within our power to eradicate the threat of unwanted fire.
The most recent figures available indicate that about 7,500 Americans die, over 300,000 are injured, and more than $4 billion in property is lost annually because of fire. These fires occur in all areas of America, in homes, factories, offices, schools, nightclubs, prisons, and homes for elderly, and affect all Americans. Professional fire fighters bear a disproportionate burden of the human costs of fire; theirs is still one of the most hazardous professions in America. In addition, thousands of individuals face the dangers of fire without pay, as volunteer fire fighters.
Through the efforts of the fire services, concerned citizens, the private sector, and government, Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the problem, and some of its solutions.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning October 9, 1977, as Fire Prevention Week.
I call upon all Americans to learn basic fire prevention and personal fire safety practices and to apply these safeguards to reduce the toll of death, burn injuries and property loss due to fire.
I urge all Federal, State and local agencies concerned with such national problems as energy conservation, environmental protection, and economic well-being to consider fully how their programs can help assure that all Americans live and work in an environment that is as safe as possible from the danger of fire.
I urge the continued cooperation of Government and the private sector in encouraging the use of smoke detection and fire suppression systems.
I call upon the members of the Joint Council of National Fire Service Organizations, the National Fire Protection Association, all other organizations concerned with fire safety, and the National Fire Prevention and Control Administration to provide the leadership, planning, and innovation necessary for an effective national fire prevention and control effort.
Finally, let us all recognize the valiant and determined efforts of the fire services, code enforcement officers, Federal officials, and State and local government officials in fire prevention and control.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and second.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:49 p.m., September 19, 1977]