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The History of American Fire Prevention from 1600 to 2000Jeremy A. BeltranColumbia Southern University
The National Fire Problem•“Fire Departments respond to an average of 2 million fire calls each year. This fire problem, on a per capita basis, is one of the worst in the industrial world. Thousands of Americans die each year, tens of thousands of people are injured, and property losses reach billions of dollars. There are huge indirect costs of fire as well-temporary lodging, lost business, medical expenses, psychological damage, pets killed, and others” (Diamantes, 2016, p. 3).
History of Fire Prevention Practices•In 1607, “The first permanent English colony in what to become the United States was established at Jamestown, Virginia. The Native Americans who inhabited the area were none to pleased by the arrival of the Englishmen, and the colonists consequently keep constant vigilance with loaded muskets and water buckets to defend against attacks and fires (Diamantes, 2016, p. 6).•In 1608, it is said the first recorded structure fire occurred, which destroyed most of Jamestown, Virginia (Our History, 2015).
•The city of Boston, MA was ravaged by nine serious fires. In response, the Boston general court ordered all buildings to be constructed of brick or stone with slate or tile roofs. (Diamantes, 2016, p. 6)•The Massachusetts colony passed a law prohibiting smoking outdoors in 1638, making it the first no-smoking law in American history. (Diamantes, 2016)
•“Peter Stuyvesant, governor of the Dutch colony of Nieuw Amsterdam (later called New York), purchased 250 leather buckets , ladders, hooks and established a tax on every chimney in the colony to maintain equipment. Stuyvesant also established a roving band of fire wardens armed with wooden rattles to be sounded in the event of fire” (Diamantes, 2016, p.7)