HONESDALE - Mayor Jack Bishop presented a proclamation to members of Alert Hook & Ladder Co. No. 2 in recognition of 2014 Fire Prevention Week.

HONESDALE - Mayor Jack Bishop presented a proclamation to members of Alert Hook & Ladder Co. No. 2 in recognition of 2014 Fire Prevention Week.

The week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,400 buildings.

Fire Prevention Week's theme is "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives - Test Yours Every Month."

The theme aims to educate the public on how smoke alarms save lives and why they should be installed and maintained in every home.

Smoke and poisonous gases are the leading causes of death in fires, and can kill a person long before flames.

Underestimating the power of fire and the time it takes a person to escape a structure after a blaze ignites could cost a life.

Fire officials urge residents to develop a home escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

"(It) is critical to escaping a real fire safely," according to the proclamation.

A home fire escape plan includes everyone in the household knowing two ways out of each room, having an outdoor location in front of the home where everyone can meet upon exiting and memorizing the local fire department's emergency number.

Bishop's proclamation states, in part, "I call upon the people of Honesdale to participate in Fire Prevention activities at home, work and school, and to get personally involved in cutting the chances of dying in a fire by installing working smoke alarms.

The Honesdale Fire Department is dedicated to the safety of life and property from the devastating effects of fire, says the proclamation.

The local efforts of the fire department are supported by organizations such as the American Burn Association, American Red Cross, Center for Disease Control, Congressional Fire Services Institute, Fire Marshals Association of North America, Fire Prevention Canada, the International Association of Arson Investigators, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Association of Hispanic Firefighters, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, the National Fire Protection Association, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, the National Volunteer Fire Council and the U.S. Fire Administration.

The Honesdale Fire Department has numerous activities planned for the week.

Future stories will highlight the week's activities.