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Our Opinion: Preparation, prevention, protection

Our Opinion: Preparation, prevention, protection

October 10th, 2011 in News

Preparation is a key to prevention and protection.

During Fire Prevention Week, observed through Saturday, the campaign is "Protect Your Family From Fire" and the theme is "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!"

Preparation is a common element of both cautions.

Recommendations to prevent fires in homes are well-documented. They include:

• Keep flammable materials away from fireplaces, stoves and other heat sources.

• Never leave the kitchen while cooking.

• Replace damaged electrical fixtures and cords.

• Be careful when smoking or using candles.

Despite conscientious efforts, fires in homes do occur - all too frequently. A home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds during 2009, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

If a fire occurs, an alarm and an escape plan are critical.

Working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire nearly in half, said Jason Turner, public information officer for the Jefferson City Fire Department.

During the week-long observance, local firefighters will be hosting fire station tours, visiting elementary schools and installing smoke alarms. Information is available by calling the department at 634-6401.

A preferred method, particularly in multi-story homes, is interconnected smoke alarms; when one alarm sounds, all are triggered.

The other crucial component is an escape plan. "Smoke and fires can spread very quickly," said Randy Cole, state fire marshal. "Practicing an evacuation plan with your family can save critical seconds and could save your loved ones from injury or death."

During this week's observance, take time to prepare and to protect your family from fire.