2018-10-11 / News

Fire Prevention Week focuses on ‘Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware’

Fire Prevention Week began Sunday, Oct. 7 and lasts until Saturday, Oct. 13.

The commemoration, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association, seeks to remind the public to stay conscious of fire safety.

“We do it year-round, but Fire Prevention Week brings it to light for everyone,” said Jim Peterson, fire chief of the Saginaw Township Fire Department.

According to the National Archives and Records Administration, Fire Prevention Week is the longest-running public health observance in the country.

Since 1922, the NFPA has been promoting fire consciousness in the week of October containing Oct. 9, to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire, and how to escape safely in the event of one: Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet. Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Both Thomas and Saginaw Township fire departments put effort into making sure the community is aware of fire safety. Both departments regularly visit the area’s schools and partner with local businesses like Home Depot for fire safety events. Each township also holds a public safety pancake breakfast, inviting the public to enjoy pancakes and sausage while learning safety precautions.

Saginaw Township has installed more than 500 smoke detectors and 200 carbon monoxide detectors in over 100 Saginaw Township homes, Peterson said.

On Saturday, Nov. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m., the Thomas Township Fire Department will hold a “Change your clock, change your battery” event that serves to remind citizens to put a new battery in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Firefighters will follow pizza delivery drivers, at random, from Little Caesars and Eudici’s Pizza, (each on Gratiot Road,) to customers’ homes in a fire engine.

If the sporadically-chosen customer has a working smoke alarm, the firemen will pay for the pizza. If the customer does not have a working smoke alarm, the firemen give them one.

“That project is completely funded by our firefighters. There are no tax dollars in that; our people have a lot of community support,” said Mike Cousins, fire chief of the Thomas Township Fire Department.

Both fire chiefs agree that carbon monoxide detectors are often overlooked but just as important as a smoke alarm, as carbon monoxide cannot be detected by smell.

Cousins would also like to encourage the community to ensure addresses can be viewed from the roadway, and to make sure homes are accessible for a fire truck.

If residents are unsure if their homes are accessible, they can contact the Thomas Township Fire Department at (989) 781-4141, or the Saginaw Township Fire Department at (989) 792-9691.

For more information on Fire Prevention Week, visit www.nfpa.org, or the local fire departments at www.thomastownship.org and www.saginawtownship.org.

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