Fire Prevention Week In Rugby a Blazing Success
The focus of this year’s National Fire Prevention Week that was observed from October 4 through Oct. 10, was the importance of smoke detectors. It also served as an opportunity for the Rugby area volunteer fire department to show off their new Fire Hall to the community that so many of kindly donated to have built.
In addition, it was also a great time to have some fun during the kick off carnival. Where there were carnival games for the kids, fie truck rides, face painting, fireman demonstrations and for the second straight year it was where local chefs and cooks could show off their wares in the best chili contest. According to Lindsey Bush the Chili Cook Off was added last year as a fun competition for the adults to be part of our Fire Prevention Kick Off Week, which usually begins with the Carnival.” This year they had six-entrants whose chili was voted on by the public after sampling during the carnival.
“The Fire Prevention Carnival is our Kick off to Fire Prevention Week and a fun way to introduce the year’s theme to kids and get them thinking about fire safety” Any funds raised from the Carnival go back to support our firemen with whatever they may need.” stated Bush.
This year’s Second Annual Best Chili Cook Off winner was Matt Mattern who made a crowd-pleasing beef based chili.
Part of the Fire Prevention week is education. In Rugby firemen went to local schools to teach fire safety and the school had field trips to the Rugby Fire Hall to see and hear first hand from the volunteer firefighters what the firefighters do and the equipment they use. The “HOT” topic for the presentation was this year’s theme Smoke Detectors.
“Smoke Detectors give you and your family an early warning in the event of a fire so you can get out quickly and safely,” “You should always have an escape plan and practice it regularly. You should always know what are you going to do if the door is locked? What window are you going to go to? Can you get out a window? Where are you going to wait till someone can come and get you. All of this is important to know if you are awaken in the middle of the night and your house is on fire”, said local volunteer fireman Danny Raymond who has been a fireman for 10 years, three with the Rugby Volunteer Fire Department.
Raymond said, “Many potential fire hazards go undetected because people simply do not take steps to fireproof their home, including when it comes to smoke detectors.” He continued by saying smoke detectors should be installed in every room in the home, as well as in hallways. Also, smoke detectors should be tested monthly and the batteries changed semi-annually. “Smoke alarms and CO detectors only work when maintained properly, so we always emphasize to change their batteries when you change your clocks”, said Raymond. Raymond also recommended that the actual units should also be replaced every 10 years.
Some other safety tips are: while cooking, always stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen, be sure to turn off the burners on the stove. Also turn all pot handles inward and always keep a three-foot safety zone around the stove where children are not allowed. Keep children and pets away from your stove. In addition, keep a fire extinguisher near the kitchen and be sure everyone in the home knows where it is and knows how to use it.
“Safety is something that you should ever take for granted”, a point that was stressed to students from Little Flower Elementary as they toured the Fire Hall with local volunteer fireman giving them he grand tour as they spoke about safety and preparedness. “Electrical cords can also pose a danger. You should always be sure electrical cords are in good shape without any exposed wires. Also do not run cords under furniture or rugs. Electrical outlets should also never be overloaded”, as expressed by the fireman during their presentation. They also recommended clearing any dead brush from around your home because once it dries it can be capable of becoming a fire hazard.
“We always try to improve and expand our open house from year to year so as not to become stagnant with the same old thing,” said Raymond. He continued, “All the guys feel that it is important to educate the kids because if we don’t who is going to.”
Another factor in educating the kids during prevention week according to Raymond “We have to get out there and see these kids and they have to see us one on one because in case of emergency we don’t want them scared of us we don’t want them hiding from us. ” He continued, “We want them to know what to do in case of an emergency. Be prepared for the unexpected.”
Raymond concluded, “From myself and all the volunteer Firemen in Rugby we want everyone know again how we appreciate all the support they have given us throughout the years.”
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