It’s Fire Prevention Week, and fire departments across the nation are doing their part in spreading the word to children, teachers, and adults everywhere about how to keep safe.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, children under five and adults over 65 have the highest risk for injury or death in a fire, but people of all ages are vulnerable.
“We like to take this time every year of this time of year to remind people of the fire safety that should be important all the time,” Superior Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Gordon said.
Fire departments urge, first an foremost, to ensure that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
“Most people have smoke alarms these day, but people don’t maintain them,” Duluth Fire Department Fire Marshal Marnie Grondahl said.
Check the batteries, and make sure they’re not out-dated.
“It will tell you the date on the back of a smoke alarm, but the writing is obviously very small, so what we tell people to do is — there’s even a line for it — is when you get a new smoke alarm, take and write the date that you’re putting this new smoke alarm in, so that every time you change the battery, you’re looking at it and you know how old that smoke alarm is,” Grondahl said.
Firefighters also say to know at least two ways out of every room in your home, and to discuss those with your families.
It’s important to have a designated meeting spot for when you escape.
“Tell your kids where to go,” Grondahl said. “It could be the end of your driveway, a tree, mailbox, whatever.”
And if a fire does break out in your home:
“Get out. Get everybody out, call 9-11, and then stay out,” Gordon said. “That’s the big part — is we all want to go inside for our pets. I’m a pet-lover as well. I know it would be hard to not go in and get my pet out, but it happens time and time across this country, where people die from fires because they go back in to save a pet.”
Duluth and Superior Fire Departments will be going around to local schools all week to help spread the word.