by Jim Buell, 2nd Asst. Chief, Shelburne Fire Dept.
Fall has arrived and with that comes Fire Prevention Week. As I submit this article to the Shelburne News, we (Shelburne’s Emergency Services – Police, Fire, EMS, and Dispatch) have completed this year’s program at the Community School, Waldorf School, and the Renaissance School, as well as at a portion of our local nursery schools. Ask your children what they did and what fire prevention and safety tips they picked up. Have your Kindergartner, 1st, or 2nd grader show you how to perform Stop, Drop and Roll, or Crawl Low in Smoke. Work with your 3rdor 4th grader to go through your home to identify hazards that should be corrected. Have your 5th grader talk about the proper procedures for using 911 and what safety information the Police Officer provided. Ask your 6th, 7th, or 8th grader about the presentation they were given about smoke and CO detectors.
Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7-13 and this year’s theme is “Have Two Ways Out.” Each year across the United States, thousands of homes are destroyed by fire and many people end up injured, but having a home escape plan and meeting place will keep you safe.
Everyone should follow these helpful tips to stay safe from fires:
• Never leave burning candles unattended
• Have a home escape plan in place and practice it. (Have Two Ways Out!)
• If you heat with a wood stove or fireplace, make sure combustibles are placed far away and you have something in place to protect people from touching and burning themselves on the stove
• Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of reach of young children
• Check your home for frayed wires, and other home hazards.
• Keep flammable liquids in approved containers; store them outside.
• Make sure your home is protected by properly working smoke alarms, check them monthly, and replace the batteries at least annually.
Does your family have a home escape plan? If so, please practice this regularly. This is something that takes only a few minutes, but in a fire, this will be very important to know that everyone is safely out of your house and at the designated family meeting place. If you don’t have a home escape plan and would like information about it, feel free to stop by the firehouse or leave us a phone message at 985-2366. You can also find a sample and information at our website, www.shelburnefire.org/publicinfo.
Make sure you protect your home and your family from fire and remember, fire prevention and safety isn’t just one week of the year, but all 52!