Praire Twp. Fire Dept. celebrates Fire Prevention Week
Is your smoke alarm in working order?
“Smoke Alarms: A sound you can live with” is this year’s Fire Safety Theme. All through October, Prairie Township firefighters have events to help children, senior citizens, and the Hispanic community to remember to check the batteries and smoke alarms in their homes.
In 2009, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of reported home fire deaths in the United States resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Firefighters will take various programs to the elementary school children during Fire Prevention month to help educate them and raise awareness at home with items passed out in school.
“We purchased some new material geared toward our senior citizens to recommend some safety tips for home and travel. We also purchased some in Spanish to accommodate our growing ethnic population, too,” fire Chief Steve Feustel said.
The school activities will be focused by grade. The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will learn about 9-1-1. The first and second graders will learn how to “stop, drop and roll,” and the third and fourth grade students will plan two ways out of their home – EDITH (Exit Drills in the Home). These involve some “homework” and involve their parents helping them draw and establish outside meeting points in case of a fire.
Fire Chief Feustel said their goal this year will be to add/extend the invitation to local senior assisted living centers and senior meetings to evaluate their fire escape plans and address fire hazards in their individual living units.
“The theme is to remember to check your batteries, remember to make sure they work, but there are so many new ones (smoke alarms) now that they can be wireless and tied together, so when one goes off in the house, they all go off. There are a lot of new things out now, so just educating people about the new technology that’s out there will be part of it,” fire Lt. Jim Troesch said.
The firefighters will also be posting information in some of the Spanish speaking businesses to encourage these same principles. “My goal is to coordinate a day with this community of people so that we can bring in a Spanish speaking firefighter and make a simple presentation about fire safety, smoke detectors and communication with 9-1-1,” Fire Chief Feustel said.
The firefighters hope to reach about 2,800 students this year. They will teach in four pre-schools and five elementary schools. They will also be visiting some of the retirement communities to reach more senior citizens.