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President’s 1947 National Conference on Fire Prevention

In 1947, President Harry Truman called a three-day conference to discuss a plan to reduce losses from fire in the United States. A driving force behind the conference was the fire-related tragedies that occurred the prior year at the Winecoff (Atlanta) and La Salle (Chicago) hotels and at an apartment building in New York City. These three fires killed a total of 217 people.

Conference participants recommended that fire departments focus on the three E’s — engineering, enforcement and education — to prevent fire loss.