The fire departments Fire Prevention Officer is in charge of children’s
educational programs at schools, community functions as well as station tours
for scout troops and small groups. The position is a volunteer position with the
department. For requests to have someone come speak at your school, event or for
station tours for groups, please call the station and leave a message for the
Fire Prevention officer who will return your call promptly. Although many fire
prevention programs include commercial building inspections and new construction
examination, our department focuses on children’s education and public relations.
The department does have part time inspectors that handle commercial building
We have a very successful fire prevention program in our community and we feel
children’s education is an important part of the fire department. We
able to teach stop, drop and roll, safe meeting places and exit drills in
the home as well as many others. Special programs can be developed for problem
kids as well. On an annual basis the department helps educate thousands of
kids about fire safety. Feel free to call and leave a message for the Fire
Prevention Office to discuss any tours or educational materials.
Three of the most important fire safety things you need to remember are STOP,
DROP & ROLL if you cloths catch on fire and parents can teach their children
this right at home. The next one is EXIT DRILLS IN THE HOME and the last thing
is to make sure your smoke detectors are in working order. We will cover these
briefly below. Use these guides for practicing drills in the home.
Stop, Drop & Roll
Stop, Drop and Roll is used to teach people what to do if their clothing catches
on fire. Although this technique is usually taught in school, children who
aren't in school yet can still learn fire safety, and how to stop, drop and
roll if their clothing catches on fire.
- Explain to your child you are going to go over some fire safety lessons,
and that you are going to teach them what to do if their clothes ever
- Teach your child that Stop, Drop and Roll can save their lives if their
clothes ever catch on fire.
- Tell your child that if their clothes ever catch on fire they need to
stop whatever they are doing and drop to the ground.
- Demonstrate to your child how to drop and then roll.
- Teach your child to cover his mouth and nose while rolling, to protect
his airways from damage.
Practice Stop, Drop and Roll at home with your child. Tell them that if they
see anyone else's clothes catch fire, to yell, "Stop, Drop and Roll"
and to find an adult and call 911.
Exit Drills in The Home
Teaching a child fire exit drills in the home can save his life in the event
of a fire. Do this once every six months so your child is comfortable with
the escape procedures.
- Explain to your child what you're going to teach him. Tell him it's similar
to fire drills in school, and that it's just as important to have fire
drills at home.
- Draw a simple diagram of your house and go over it carefully with your
- Find two escape routes for every room. Take the child to each room and
ask him how he would escape if there were a fire.
- Practice opening windows, taking off screens and using ladders (if on
a second story). Children must be able to open windows and window locks
and use collapsible ladders if on a second story.
- Make sure there are no security bars on bedroom windows - or if there
are, that they can be opened and closed easily. You may even want to remove
bars from your child's room.
- Sleep with bedroom doors closed, and teach your child that if the smoke
detector goes off, he should feel the door with the back of his hand before
- Teach your child to place the back of his hand on the door to check for
heat, starting at the bottom and working up. Then he should place the
back of his hand on the doorknob; if there's any heat outside the door,
he should be able to feel it.
- Teach your child to crack open the door - if he doesn't feel heat, he
should stay low and check for smoke. If smoke is present, he should use
the other way out.
- Choose a place for family members to reconvene outside.
- Tell your child that once he has escaped, he must not go back in the
house for any reason until firefighters have deemed the house safe for
- Lower your child down from a window before escaping yourself. He may
be too scared to escape if you go first and then motion for him to come
- Make sure smoke detectors are mounted inside each bedroom in your home,
as well as in the hallway outside the bedrooms.
- Test your smoke detectors regularly.
If there is a fire in your home, smoke alarms are your first line of defense.
They give you an early warning that a dangerous condition is present, and
could give your family the extra time to escape. It is mandatory to have a
smoke alarm on each floor of your home. There are many types of smoke alarms,
each with different features. Alarms can be electrically connected, battery
powered or a combination of both.
- If a smoke detector goes off, you literally have seconds to respond.
There is absolutely no time to gather possessions, pets and possibly even
each other. Your best response is to leave your home immediately, gather
at your prearranged meeting place and call 911 from a neighbor's home.
- Never go back into the house once you've escaped from a fire.
Two Types of Smoke Alarms
Two types of technology are used in smoke detectors, and each is better at
detecting a certain kind of fire.
- The ionization type of smoke alarm is generally better at detecting fast,
flaming fires that burn combustible materials rapidly and spread quickly.
Sources could include paper burning in a wastebasket or a grease fire
in the kitchen. These kinds of fires account for 70% of home fires.
- The photoelectric type of smoke alarm is generally better suited for
detecting slow-burning fires. These fires may smolder for hours before
they burst into flames and are caused by such things as cigarettes burning
in couches or bedding. These kinds of fires make up 30% of home fires.
You may want to consider installing both types of smoke alarms, or models that
incorporate both types of technology. This would ensure that you are alerted
as early as possible to any kind of fire in your home.
Minimizing Your Risk
You can minimize your family's risk of fire-related injury or death by installing
the right number of smoke alarms in the right places in your home, and by
keeping them all in good working order.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor, including the basement.
- Make sure the smoke alarms in your home have the UL stamp of approval
on the product and packaging.
- Read and follow every step of the manufacturer's directions when you
install your smoke alarms.
- Follow the manufacturer's directions for testing and cleaning your smoke
- Change the batteries as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Test
your smoke alarm to ensure the battery is operational.
- Never "borrow" batteries from your smoke alarm for some other
- Replace any smoke detector that is more than ten years old.
- Develop a "family escape plan" (Exit Drills in the Home above)
in case of fire in your home. Practice the plan and make sure your children
understand what they should do if they hear warning sounds from smoke
alarm. The escape plan should include a meeting point outside the home.