OCTOBER 7, 2001
Fire Prevention Week
Lawrence Road Fire Co., in partnership with Educational Testing Service, is pleased to announce that when Lawrence Road firefighters make their annual visits to schools in Fire District 2 during this years national Fire Prevention Week they will pass out special sets of firefighting-themed trading cards to the schoolchildren.
Fire Prevention Week will be observed across America Sunday, October 7, through Saturday, October 13.
The trading cards, sponsored by Educational Testing Service, were created with several goals in mind. It is hoped that long after Fire Prevention Week is over the cards will help remind students of the important fire prevention and safety skills they were taught by their firefighter friends.
It is also hoped that the cards will continue to stimulate the youngsters interests in fire prevention, firefighting, and community service, and also help them become more familiar with the local heroes who volunteer their time and sometimes risk their lives to protect Lawrence Township.
Each set includes 12 different cards. The fronts of the cards are adorned with full-color photographs that were taken by Lawrence Road firefighters during the past year at emergency incidents and training exercises. Some of the cards show Lawrence Roads present and past fire engines, while others feature some of the fire companys brave volunteers in action or demonstrating firefighting tools.
In addition to a reminder to dial 911 in an emergency, plus details about how to contact the fire company for non-emergency matters, printed on the back of each card is background or biographical information about the apparatus, incident or firefighter featured on the front.
The cards are a perfect way of showing the kids what firefighters do, said Lawrence Road Fire Co. Chief Johnathan Fleming. Theyre not only eye-catching and informative, but they also teach the younger children that we, as firefighters, are their friends and that were here to help keep them safe.
Fire Prevention Week is an important time because it gives us an opportunity to interact with the kids in a powerful and memorable way, Fleming continued. Statistically, children under the age of 14 are among those at greatest risk. Anything we can do to improve their chances of preventing or escaping a fire is worth it. We dont just tell the kids to crawl low to the floor to avoid smoke. We show them. We have a firefighter, in full gear and wearing an airpack, crawl on the floor with them. Not only does it show them what to do, but it lets them touch the firefighter, and examine the gear, so theyre not scared of us.
Being interactive like that makes fire prevention more memorable for them, the chief concluded. That way, hopefully, theyll remember what we taught them if, God forbid, they ever need to use it.
Were indebted to ETS for their support with this and other projects, said Lawrence Road Fire Co. President Michael Ratcliffe. Without them, we probably wouldnt have been able to have had these cards made. ETS has always supported Lawrence Road Fire Co. in our mission to provide the residents of Lawrence Township with the finest fire and rescue service possible. The folks at ETS deserve a lot of praise for taking such an active role in helping to better our community.
For years, volunteers from Lawrence Road, as well as members of the townships two other fire companies Slackwood and Lawrenceville have helped educate township schoolchildren about fire prevention and safety.
Five of Lawrence Townships seven schools are located in Lawrence Roads fire district, along with two parochial schools (St. Anns and Notre Dame), as well as several day care facilities.
Each year, volunteers from Lawrence Road Fire Co. visit the elementary schools and teach younger students about a variety of fire safety topics, including proper use of the 911 system, smoke detectors, home escape drills, and basic fire prevention.
Lawrence Road Fire Co. members hope that, after listening to the firefighters, children will go home after school and share their new fire safety knowledge with their parents and urge their parents to take extra precautions around their homes.
Carelessness in the kitchen, improper use of heating equipment, and electrical equipment malfunctions are among the leading causes of residential fires in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the National Fire Protection Association.
Some facts worth considering, according to the NFPA, are:
On average, there are 91,700 reported home fires each year associated with cooking equipment, killing 327 people and injuring 4,607. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires.
On average, there are 59,100 reported home fires per year associated with heating equipment, killing 468 people and injuring 1,592. Heating fires are second leading cause of home fires. During the months of December, January and February, heating is the leading cause of home fires. Most heating fires involve space heaters, not central furnaces. Installing space heaters too close to combustibles (or placing combustibles too close to them) are major causes of space heater fires.
On average there are 38,400 home fires per year associated with wiring, switches, outlets, cords and plugs, fuse and circuit breaker boxes, and other equipment involved in distributing electricity around the home. These electrical service equipment fires annually kill 352 people and injure 1,343 annually.
Eighty percent of all U.S. fire deaths occur in the home. Someone is killed in a home fire in the United States and Canada roughly every 3 hours. Smoke alarms are the most effective early warning device available. Having a smoke alarm in your home cuts your chance of dying in a fire nearly in half!
Lawrence Road Fire Co. urges all Lawrence Township residents to take an active role during Fire Prevention Week by checking their homes for hidden dangers. Just a few moments spent now checking for hazards may prevent a future tragedy.
Anyone with questions about fire safety is urged to consult the NFPAs website at www.nfpa.org or to call the township fire marshals office or any of the townships three volunteer fire companies.
FIRE PREVENTION WEEK SAFETY TIPS
IN THE KITCHEN:
Never leave food cooking on the stovetop unattended and keep a close eye on food in the oven.
Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles such as potholders, towels, rags, drapes, and food packaging.
Keep children away from cooking areas by creating a three-foot kid-free zone around the stove.
Turn pot handles inward so they cant be bumped and children cant grab them.
Wear short, close fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.
Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Dont remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire and never discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen, actually spreading the fire.
In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.
In case of a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Call the fire department and make sure to have the oven serviced before you use it again. Food cooked in a microwave can be dangerously hot. Remove the lids or other coverings from microwaved food carefully to prevent steam burns.
Space heaters need space. Space heaters should be at least three feet (one meter) away from walls, furniture, and anything that can burn, including people and pets.
Always use the proper fuel in a heater. For example, never use gasoline as a fuel in a heater designed for kerosene or oil.
Portable space heaters should be turned off every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
Have a sturdy screen on your fireplace. A metal screen or built-in glass doors will keep sparks from flying into the room.
Have chimneys and heating systems checked at least once a year and cleaned, if needed, by trained professionals. (Fires in wood-burning heating equipment are often caused by the build-up of creosote, which are deposits of unburned fuel.)
Replace or repair any electrical device with a loose or frayed cord.
Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
In homes with small children, electrical outlets should have plastic safety covers.
Follow the manufacturers instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet. Most receptacle outlets contain two receptacles. As an added precaution, consider plugging only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet.
Avoid the use of cube taps and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn.
Use bulbs that match the lamps recommended wattage.
GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) can greatly reduce the risk of shock by shutting off faulty electrical circuits and equipment faster than conventional fuses or circuit breakers can. GFCIs are inexpensive; professional electricians can hard-wire them into your home electrical system.