For more than 80 consecutive years, the President of the United States has signed a proclamation for Fire Prevention Week, signaling national support of fire departments as they teach fire safety in their communities.
A gubernatorial proclamation can complement this national attention, spotlighting the fire safety work of first responders in your state/province, and helping to reinforce the lifesaving messages associated with the annual theme. A proclamation-signing ceremony can be a great photo opportunity for the media, and valuable exposure for your department.
You will need to submit a request to obtain a gubernatorial proclamation. A formal request must come from someone within the state/province. NFPA provides a sample proclamation but does not arrange for signings.
Once you've arranged the proclamation signing with the official's office, let the media know about it in advance. Send out a press advisory the day before the signing and call the assignment desk at local news stations and newspaper the day of the signing, encouraging the media to cover the event. If you are able to obtain a proclamation but not a signing ceremony, you can still get media mileage out of it by providing your media contacts with copies of the proclamation along with an advisory putting the proclamation in context.
Download this sample proclamation (docx, 11 KB) and fill in the blanks.
State of (STATE) Governor’s Proclamation
WHEREAS, the State of (STATE) is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all those living in and visiting our state; and
WHEREAS, fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally, and homes are the locations where people are at greatest risk from fire; and
WHEREAS, home fires killed more than 2,500 people in the United States in 2011, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and fire departments in the United States responded to 370,000 home fires; and
WHEREAS, cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States where fire departments responded to more than 156,000 annually between 2007 and 2011 ; and
WHEREAS, two of every five home fires start in the kitchen; and
WHEREAS, unattended equipment was a factor in one-third of the reported cooking fires; and
WHEREAS, 57% of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves; and
WHEREAS, children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire
WHEREAS, (STATE’S) residents should stay in the kitchen when frying food on the stovetop, keep a three-foot kid-free zone around cooking areas and keep anything that can catch fire away from stove tops; and
WHEREAS, residents who have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan are more prepared and will therefore be more likely to survive a fire; and
WHEREAS, working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half; and
WHEREAS, (STATE’S) first responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and home fire injuries through prevention and protection education; and
WHEREAS, (STATE’S) residents are responsive to public education measures and are able to take personal steps to increase their safety from fire, especially in their homes; and
WHEREAS, the 2013 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Prevent Kitchen Fires!” effectively serves to remind us to stay alert and use caution when cooking to reduce the risk of kitchen fires.
THEREFORE, I (GOVERNOR’S NAME) Governor of (STATE) do hereby proclaim October 6-12, 2013, as Fire Prevention Week throughout this state, and I urge all the people of (STATE) by checking their kitchens for fire hazards and using safe cooking practices during Fire Prevention Week 2013, and to support the many public safety activities and efforts of (STATE’S) fire and emergency services.