National Fire Prevention Week will be Oct. 7 through Oct. 13. During this time, attention is focused on promoting fire safety and prevention. The theme this year is "Have 2 Ways Out!" stressing the importance of having two escape routes in the event a fire strikes in the home.
The Monett Fire Department will have fire trucks at the Monett Elementary School during the Fun Fest on Saturday, Oct. 6. On Oct. 9 firefighters will discuss fire safety with preschool and kindergarten students. Discussion will continue on Oct. 10 to first grade students and on Oct. 11 to second grade students.
On Oct. 11 the fire department will have fire trucks at St. Lawrence Catholic School from 1 to 3 p.m.
On Oct. 12, alarms will be sounded at all schools for a fire drill.
Fire prevention week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on Oct. 8, 1871, but continued into and did most of its damage on Oct. 9, 1871.
A fire safety checklist includes the following:
* Install and maintain a working smoke alarm outside of every sleep area and remember to change the battery at least once a year.
* Designate two escape routes from each bedroom and practice them regularly.
* Teach everyone the Stop, Drop, and Roll technique in case clothing catches on fire.
* Avoid storing old mattresses in the home or garage.
* Teach kids that matches, lighters and candles are tools, not toys. If you suspect that a child is playing with fire, check under beds and in closets for telltale signs like burned matches. Matches and lighters should be stored in a secure drawer or cabinet.
Other recommendations include have a designated meeting place outside the home, make sure your house number is visible so that first responders get to you quicker and once you're out stay out.
One component of having an escape route should include making a map of your home indicating all windows and doors that can be used to get outside if the smoke alarm sounds. It's important all routes out of the house are clear, free of clutter and can be opened easily.
It is important that everyone in a family know how to get low and go under smoke, in case you're required to escape through smoke.