SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Nearly 100 years after the Great Chicago Fire… fire departments across the country continue to commemorate the disaster. Fire Prevention Week is the nation’s longest-running public health observance.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and departments across the country are in the midst of Fire Prevention Week.

“We focus on fire prevention every day of the year, but we do have that one week a year when we can make a focused push to the general public and get our message out in a stronger way,” City of Sioux Falls Fire Inspector Barry Maag said.

This year’s theme is ‘Cooking Safety Starts With You. Pay Attention To Fire Prevention.’

“Number one way to cut down on unwanted kitchen fire is to be in the kitchen the entire time you’re cooking,” Maag said.

In addition to being present, City of Sioux Falls Fire Inspector Barry Maag says to have a lid or cookie sheet nearby when cooking.

“If it gets too hot or starts on fire we can just put a lid on it, take the oxygen away and the fire will go out, turn the heat off, let it cool off and we’ll be safe,” Maag said.

Another tip in the kitchen is to establish a kid-free zone of at least three feet around the stove or areas where hot food is being prepared.

If something does catch on fire, a smoke alarm is often the first to know. Fire Rescue is partnering with the American Red Cross and Helpline Center to provide free smoke alarms to residents in Sioux Falls. It’s been a busy week.

“We visited 132 homes, put in 475 smoke alarms,” Maag said.

“If it’s in the middle of the night and there is something that does unfortunately catch on fire then hopefully those detectors will be placed such that you’ll be able to get woken up, get out of there,” Sioux Falls firefighter Hudson Johnson said.

Johnson spent Thursday installing smoke alarms for a number of grateful residents.

“As some people get older and unable to climb a ladder, or maybe it’s just a little dangerous for them, by all means call us and we’ll come out and love to help out,” Johnson said.

A crew willing to lend a hand every week of the year.

Fire Prevention Week runs through Saturday. If you’re a Sioux Falls resident and would like to take part in the Smoke Alarm Program, click HERE.