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Fire Prevention Week focuses on teaching children and seniors

To The Daily Sun,

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation creating Fire Prevention Day. In 1922 it became Fire Prevention Week. It is always observed during the week of Oct. 9. The period was an observance to remember the Great Chicago Fire, which started on Oct. 8, 1871, and continued burning through Oct. 9. Most of the damage and destruction was on Oct. 9.

This conflagration left 250 people dead, more than 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,000 structures, and covered 2,000 acres of the city of Chicago. Interestingly, it was not the worst fire of the day, but it was the most reported fire because of where it happened.

On the same day, the Peshtigo Fire happened in Wisconsin. This forest fire remains the deadliest forest fire in U.S. history. It burned through 16 towns, destroyed 1.2 million acres, and killed 1,152 people. Within an hour of the fire starting, the town of Peshtigo was gone.

This year's theme for Fire Prevention Week is "Don't Wait — check the date! Replace smoke detectors every 10 years." This past weekend Laconia firefighter's visited more than 60 homes of local seniors and gave away dozens of smoke detectors. The program is sponsored by LRGHealthcare. A working smoke detector increases your chances of escaping a home fire by 50 percent.

Fire Prevention Week focuses on teaching children and seniors about how to prevent fires, and what to do if a fire happens. This age group are the most at risk during a fire. The U.S. fire service has done a remarkable job of preventing fires. When I started in the fire service in 1980 there were more than 1 million structure fires. Last year, there were just over a half million structure fires. In 1980 there were 5,200 fire deaths in homes, and last year that number was 2,650.

The threat of fire has been reduced, but it will never go away. We will always need firefighter's ready to respond. Please check your smoke detectors, and if you suspect a fire call 9-1-1 immediately.

Kenneth L. Erickson, Fire Chief
City of Laconia

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Mike Cryans will serve the people, not some extremist agenda

To The Daily Sun,

The 2016 election has been dominated by the races at the top of the ticket. But as voters elect a president and governor, they will also choose who will serve on the New Hampshire Executive Council. I'm proud to support Mike Cryans in Executive Council District 1.

The Executive Council occupies a vital role among New Hampshire's constitutional offices, with the power to approve contracts over $25,000 and to approve nominations made by the governor to state courts, boards and commissions. The District 1 seat on the Executive Council represents an area larger than either New Hampshire congressional district. It covers two entire counties (Coös and Grafton) and parts of five others (Belknap, Carroll, Merrimack, Strafford and Sullivan), comprising 107 municipalities and 19 unincorporated places.

District 1 needs Mike Cryans on the Executive Council. For the last 30 months, since the special election to replace the late, great Ray Burton, District 1 has had an Executive Councilor who represents an extremist agenda from Washington, not the people of New Hampshire.

When extremists in Washington last year targeted Planned Parenthood with trumped-up videotapes, the current District 1 councilor voted in reactionary lockstep to defund Planned Parenthood, not once but twice. Ending public funding threatened access to basic health care for more than 12,000 women in New Hampshire, many of them in the rural areas in District 1 where there are few other healthcare options.

When extremists in Washington last year targeted Dorothy Graham's nomination to the New Hampshire Superior Court, the current District 1 councilor voted in reactionary lockstep to defeat her nomination, not once but twice. This despite pleas from police officials across the state, including Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard, urging the Executive Council not to surrender to ignorant, hateful rhetoric.

Mike Cryans will serve the people of District 1, not an extremist agenda. A district as large and diverse as District 1 requires an executive councilor who can balance the interests of the entire district, not divide us and alienate us with reactionary politics. As a native of Littleton, a small-business owner, the executive director of a respected community non-profit, and a Grafton County commissioner for nearly 20 years, Mike brings a respectful and civil tone to public office and a deep understanding of the needs of New Hampshire and the North Country.

It's time District 1 had an executive councilor who will stand up for us. Please join me in voting for Mike Cryans for Executive Council on Nov. 8.

Paul Phillips

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