Fire safety is something that became essential to surviving in certain environments and conditions since man began controlling fire and using it. Due to this valuable tool, it had also caused many horrific scenes throughout history as well as dark times for those affected by it.
Fire Code History
Fire legislation was first recorded in the area of London around the 12th century, the mayor was the proposer, and it was he who made it so that any houses that were to be built in the city had to be constructed out of stone, as well as other standards that he set.
One of the major fire in London’s history in the 13th century killed around 3000 people started the reaction by the people that a tub of water needs to be on hand to extinguish fires before they grow.
Chimneys begin to spring up in houses around the 14th century. A new way to control fire, but also another chance for despair.
Timber chimney’s began to be outlawed in the 15th century, which is crazy that people would even do that in the first place. Wood catches fire, so why would the chimney be made of wood? Didn’t make sense to me either.
The Great Fire of London began in early September of 1666 and burned for 4 days straight destroying nearly the entire city. Building Regulation codes began to be constructed, and they were only to be built of specific materials, and certain limitations were place on the construction of the city.
As new people moved to the United States from England, new fire codes and ways of handling fires were carried over from England.
The need for fire safety and education in America began in the late 1800’s, at least that’s when it began being taken seriously. Groups of people were practicing fire safety and it was part of societal standards to have certain people that engaged in fighting fires. Fire prevention bulletins in the local newspaper were major additions to this need to fight fire with brains.
In 1853, Fire engines and departments sprang up, and they were used to create a specific establishment where people who fight fires are located, and the tools they used.
In 1857, automatic fire alarms were issued to the public. The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) begins.
Fire Departments Today
In the past, fire departments focused their attention on fire prevention and survival topics such as stop, drop, and roll. In the 21 st century there is a much greater need for safety and education for everyone. In today’s efforts, the fire departments have expanded their role in educating the public to prevent injuries in a number of cases.
Today’s fire departments do not only respond to fighting fires. The role of a firefighter has expanded to swift water rescue, ice rescue, hazardous materials, responding to car accidents and in the recent year’s terrorism responses. In the 21 st century there was a big increase in injury from various activities. Such injuries from skateboarding, biking without a helmet, and driving without a seat belt. Fire departments started to include educational topics in addition to fire prevention. Today’s fire departments have extended well beyond the traditional fire hazard.