More than 1 million fires occur each year in the United States. Throughout the past decade, the number of fires -- and of resulting deaths and injuries -- has gone down. But residential fires still damage homes across our country, causing a higher percentage of fire deaths, injuries, and economic loss than any other fires, and wildfires continue to devastate our forests and threaten nearby homes and businesses. During Fire Prevention Week, we strive to increase our preparedness for fires and commit to giving dedicated firefighters the support they need to keep us safe.
This week presents opportunities for businesses, families, and communities to learn about ways to protect themselves in case of fire and helps raise awareness of steps we can all take to prevent fires. During Fire Prevention Week, we also pause to honor our first responders and firefighters, including those who have sacrificed their own lives to save the lives of people they had never met. Let us salute them and pay tribute to all firefighters whose bravery, sense of duty, and love of country make our Nation a stronger, safer place.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 9 through October 15, 2016, as Fire Prevention Week. On Sunday, October 9, 2016, in accordance with Public Law 107-51, the flag of the United States will be flown at half-staff at all Federal office buildings in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. I call on all Americans to participate in this observance with appropriate programs and activities and by renewing their efforts to prevent fires and their tragic consequences.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.