I came across this n-gram on Google Books: enter image description here

It shows a substantial spike in mentions of "fire safety" in American literature starting in 1970 and going on until almost the end of 70s. What caused this? Was there an increase in federal fire safety mandates? Did a horrific fire incident lead to increased discussion about fires and ways to prevent them?


1 Answer 1


In 1968, the Fire Research and Safety Act was passed, forming the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control. President Lyndon B. Johnson advocated for this legislation in his special message to congress "To Protect the American Consumer" in 1967.

I now call upon the 90th Congress, in Theodore Roosevelt's words, to carry forward unflinchingly in the public interest, and to build on the record of progress of the 89th Congress. For there is important unfinished and new business on the agenda to:

-- Improve our shameful record of losses of life and property through fires.

President Johnson appointed commissioners to the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control in June of 1971. In 1973, the Commission issued a report entitled America Burning. The report evaluated fire loss in the United States and made recommendations for fire safety legislation. This report led to the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 which created several federal entities "to reduce losses of life and property, through better fire prevention and control".

  • OK, first. Damn. Second, welcome to History! and lastly, well done, very well done.
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