Scott Morgan and Nansi Custer (Raleigh Fire Dept.) recently visited Mrs. Brooks Kindergarten Class at Mays Elementary School and shared fire safety and prevention tips. With information in hand they became certified in Fire Prevention and were presented badges. They were also afforded the opportunity to see how firefighting gear it put on and just how much it weighs. By the time Mr. Morgan had on all of his gear, an additional 80 to 100 pounds had been added. This was a great way to see a fire fighter in full gear up close and personal. The Raleigh Fire Department visit with Mrs. Brooks Kindergarten Class can be a good reminder for adults too.
First and foremost – don’t play with fire! That includes matches, candles and lighters. We are approaching the holiday season and need to be especially aware of candles burning in our homes and churches.
Secondly, be sure you have working Smoke Detectors in your home. The key word here is “working.” Pick at least two times during the year to make sure you have working Smoke Detectors. Select two days that will be easy to remember and write it on your calendar. News Year’s and the 4th of July would be great times to do this.
Third – and this is a BIGGY . . . it’s important to have a Fire Emergency Plan that you actually follow and practice. There needs to be a place where family members will meet after they have exited their home. No matter where you are in your home, be sure you have two ways out. Everyone needs to be aware of where the meeting place is by actually going there as part of your practice fire drill. Keep in mind that we all learn on different levels. What an older child hears and a younger child hears may be two very different things. Some of us are abstract thinkers and some concrete thinkers, so be sure to talk about your plan and physically carry out your plan.
If you hear your Smoke Detector go off, make your way to your meeting place as quickly as possible. If you are behind a closed door, test the door for heat with the back of your hand/arm first. If the door doesn’t feel hot then proceed out and go to your meeting place. If you open the door and experience excessive smoke get down low and crawl out. There’s no time to grab your computer, cell phone or favorite toy. Those things can be replaced – you can’t! If your clothing catches fire be sure to stop, drop, and roll till the flames are out. Perhaps you are somewhere in your home and get trapped! Make as much noise a possible and if on a second floor grab a sheet or piece of clothing and wave it from the window.
So – remember to:
• Gather your clan, make a fire plan.
• When in doubt, have two ways out.
• Get out quick, before the smoke gets thick!
Marianne Scott is the Legacy Fund director/Information officer with Rush County Schools.