It’s Fire Prevention Week

Kevin Green

Greensburg Daily News, Ind.

(MCT)

Oct. 4—GREENSBURG — This week, Oct. 3 to 9, is National Fire Prevention Week.

The Greensburg Fire Department is doing its part to promote the event by conducting a parade of fire engines starting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Greensburg Elementary School, 900 Big Blue Avenue. From there, the parade will travel to St. Mary’s School, 1331 E. Hunter Robbins Way, and then on to Good Shephered Academy, 209 W. Washington Street.

“We can’t do our traditional Fire Prevention Week because of COVID, the kids can’t gather in large groups,” Greensburg Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Wenning explained. “But, we wanted to do something to promote fire prevention for the kids so we came up with the idea of a parade of fire trucks.”

In addition to drawing attention to this week’s observation with the parade, the GFD is also providing local elementary schools with fire prevention and safety activity books and other printed materials.

Typically, local firefighters would take the department’s fire safety house to elementary schools where students would be provided with fire safety exit tips such as crawling below smoke levels and feeling doors prior to opening them to make sure they aren’t hot, which would indicate there’s fire danger in the adjoining room.

“The whole idea is just to bring awareness to fire prevention and fire safety,” Wenning said.

He also shared a few fire prevention and safety tips for adults including the importance of working smoke detectors in multiple rooms on every floor of every home.

“Those detectors don’t do much good if the batteries don’t work,” Wenning said. “So we suggest everyone test their smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries in them twice a year. ‘Change your clocks, change your batteries’ is something we like to say, meaning when people change their clocks in the spring and fall for daylight saving time they should also change the batteries in their smoke detectors.”

The assistant chief also advocated a carbon monoxide detector in homes that have a natural gas furnace, water heater or stove as an additional layer of protection.

Other fire prevention tips include:

* Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

* Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.

* Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.

* Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.

* Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.

* Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords, and don’t run cords under carpets or rugs.

* Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.

* Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

* If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.

The National Fire Protection Association website (nfpa.org) notes: In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy.

Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

Questions about fire prevention and/or safety may be directed to the Greensburg Fire Department at (812) 663-8671.

Kevin Green: kevin.green@greensburgdailynews.com or 812-651-0885.

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