October 2021 – Safety Blog

Fire Safety Week/Month | Safety Culture Week | Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness | School Bus Safety | Youth Substance Abuse | Occupational Noise | Breast Cancer Awareness

Hello everyone, and welcome back to DWD WC Division's - Safety Corner, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Division of Worker's Compensation (DWD/WC) safety blog! I'm using this forum to share some of the current, pertinent safety news and information that I receive from my network of workplace safety professionals and pass along to employers and organizations across Wisconsin.

National Fire Prevention Week / Month

October is the National Fire Prevention Week/Month! Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has designated the first (or second) week of October as the public observance of Fire Prevention Week, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 - NFPA Fire Safety Week 2021. The NFPA Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871.

Check in with your local Fire Department and Fire safety emergency response organizations for ongoing activities throughout Fire Safety Week/Month for your organization and home safety. Also, visit the NFPA website for additional fire safety week and year round ideas and resources. NFPA Fire Safety Week - 2021 Theme & Activities.

The National Safety Council and many fire safety vendors extend Fire Safety Week to include the entire month as Fire Safety Month, given the life safety importance of the topic, and as furnaces, fireplaces and other portable heating appliances typically come back into use.

During October communities, private employers, schools, and other organizations take part in a month-long exercises of fire safety planning and education, including reviewing fire extinguishers use (Fire Ext - P.A.S.S. - Method¹) fire & smoke alarms maintenance, and practicing emergency evacuation plans.

According to First Alert - Did You Know?

Fire Prevention week/month is the perfect time to educate and talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, how to use a fire extinguisher and escape route planning.

Coincidently, Northeast Wisconsinites will recall that October 8, 1871 is also the date of the massive Peshtigo fire. On the night of October 8 through October 9, 1871, fueled by extreme drought and high winds, this horrific conflagration destroyed a swath of forest 10 miles wide and 40 miles long, obliterating the towns of Peshtigo and Brussels, killing about 1,500 people in just two hours. Read more about the great Peshtigo fire on the Wisconsin Historical Society website.

Additional October Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) activities of interest include:

Additional Activities

As a "look ahead" preview, stay tuned for autumn safety tips later this month. November signals the end of daylight savings time, low ambient light/night time driving challenges, the onset of inclement weather, and the holiday season. More to follow accordingly.

Have a Safe Day, Always!!

Dave Leix, CSP, Safety & Risk Manager - Bio: Dave Leix - CSP, Safety & Risk Manager

Contact Information:

  • Mike Anamendolla

    Dave brings over 40 years of professional safety and health (EHS) consulting and managerial experience to his role as Safety & Risk Manager for DWD's Worker's Compensation Division. He presents at a variety of association/industry trade group safety and risk management training events. Full bio for Dave Leix.


    201 E. Washington Avenue - Room C100
    (608) 266-4541 – direct
    (608) 266-6827 - fax
    David.Leix@dwd.wisconsin.gov