Fire prevention and common sense when it comes to fire safety are being streesed this week to Monett youngsters during observance of National Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10.
Monett Fire Chief Tom Jones, fire chief, said the department will be targeting its fire safety message for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students.
Monett Fire Department fireman Kevin Cloud is coordinating the events during the week as firemen conduct activities at the Monett schools to call attention to the dangers of fire. The theme for the week is "Stay Fire Smart-Don't Get Burned."
Firemen will be handing out materials purchased with donations from local businesses to be distributed at all the Monett schools.
Cloud said firemen will also be taking a truck to St. Lawrence Catholic School and to Monett Elementary School during the week.
Chief Jones said residential blazes continue to be the number one cause of fire fatalities in the United States. In many cases deaths could be prevented if the family had an escape plan, he stated.
No fire fatalities have occurred in Monett this year, according to Jones. The last fatality in Monett due to a fire was April 9, 1992, when a man in an apartment above the former Sears Store died when that building was destroyed by fire.
The Monett Fire Department currently includes 16 members plus seven volunteers.
Regular firemen are Chief Tom Jones, Captain Larry Eden, Captain Danny Fowler, Captain Dewayne Irwin, Lieutenant Jerry Marbut, Lieutenant Randall Prock, Lieutenant John Vincent and firefighters Brent Peterson, Leon Frear, Jeff Owens, Kevin Cloud, Shane Anderson, Bill Maul, Lance Allcock, Dustin Stellwagen and Brandon Golubski.
Volunteer firemen are Max Craft, David Doennig, Greg Schad, Jerry Tharp, Travis Blair, Stacy Cloud, and James Economou.
National Fire Prevention Week is observed to mark the 118th anniversary of one of America's worst blazes, the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 9, 1871.
The American Red Cross has offered the following tips regarding fire safety:
* Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
* If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas too.
* Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
* Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
* Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
* Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Get training from the fire department in how to use them.
* Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.
* Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
* Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floors. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
* Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.
* Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
* Once you are out, stay out. Call the fire department from a neighbor's home.
* If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.
* If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is warm, use your second way out.
* If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.