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  • Prof. Ketan Vyas

International Firefighters' Day


Firefighters put their lives on the line to protect lives and property. Sometimes this takes the form of countless hours volunteered over many years, in other cases it takes many years of selfless service to the industry. In all cases, they risk the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter. International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) is a day when the global community recognizes and celebrates the sacrifices that firefighters make to keep their communities and their environment as safe as possible. It's also a day to thank current and former firefighters for their service.


In ancient Egypt there was the first organized professional group of firefighters to fight building fires, but only for private companies or services for those who could afford it. Later, in ancient Rome, Caesar Augustus revolutionized firefighting by calling for the creation of a fire watch, known as vigiles, trained, paid and equipped by the state. In 1999, Firefighter's Day was established when 5 firefighters tragically died in a forest fire in Linton, Victoria, Australia. They died because the wind direction suddenly changed and they were engulfed in flames.

Why is International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) celebrated on 4 May?

It's celebrated on 4 May because it's also Saint Florian's Day. Saint Florian is said to have been one of the first firefighters of a Roman battalion and to have saved many lives. He's the patron saint of firefighters. Did you know that Saint Florian saved an entire burning village in ancient Rome? He's the patron saint of chimney sweeps and firefighters. That's why International Firefighters' Day is celebrated on this date, because it's the feast day of Saint Florian.

How to Prevent fire accidents in home ?

  1. Blow out the candles before you leave a room or go to bed.

  2. When you cook, keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from the flames.

  3. Keep matches, lighters and other flammable materials in a safe place out of the reach of children and only use lighters with childproof locks.

  4. Hire a certified professional to check your chimney and heating system annually.

  5. Keep the fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

  6. Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and stoves professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.

  7. Keep candles at least 15 cm away from anything that can burn, such as bedding, curtains or clothing.

  8. Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease build-up.

  9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the house to make sure that all cookers, ovens and small appliances are switched off.

  10. Keep all potential fuel sources such as paper, clothing, bedding or carpets at least one meter away from space heaters, stoves or fireplaces.

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