Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Local Fire Departments say Be Fire Smart!

by Kelly Brennan

Material items can be replaced, lives cannot. Local fire fighters want you to protect yourself, protect your family and most importantly remember that you can prevent most fires in your home. The Plains Volunteer Fire Department receives calls to fires that could easily have been prevented. Because of the volume of these calls, firefighter Jason Benton wants people to know the simple steps to staying safe.

Firefighter Jason Benton on checking your home

According to, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires each year. About 2/3 of home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or without smoke alarms that work. These deaths can be prevented and Lieutenant Jim Llewellyn advises parents to take the fire prevention steps not only for themselves, but more importantly for their children.

Lieutenant Jim Llewellyn on smoke detectors

When Fire Strikes
Even though the precautionary steps can be taken, that does not make fires completely avoidable. Fires happen, and when they do families need to be prepared to take action. With small fires, Llewellyn advises to use a fire extinguisher. If you cannot contain the small fire, escape quickly. Upstairs bedrooms should have rope ladders so that children and adults can climb out the window if needed. When smoke detectors go off, do not search for the fire - just get out. In addition to smoke detectors, Llewellyn says homes should have fire extinguishers.

Lieutenant Jim Llewellyn on fire extinguishers

Fire prevention tips
1. Don't leave cooking food unattended in the kitchen or outside on the grill
2. Change smoke detector batteries every six months
3. Have at least one fire extinguisher in the home
4. Keep children away from the stove and from electrical outlets
5. Blow out candles when not in the room

Your life and the lives of your family are the most important. Local fire departments want you to educate your children on fire safety, and do not be afraid to contact them for more safety and prevention tips.

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