What to do in a Fire Emergency
We all know the age old advice to ‘stop, drop and roll’ when we see a fire or smoke, but that’s not all you need to know and the state fire marshal’s office is trying to change that.
With the help of a special trailer that travels all around the state each year, they show adults and children what to do in case of a fire emergency.
Dinner left in the oven too long, electrical problems in an air condition unit, even a faulty electrical outlet are all things that could cause a home to go up in flames. Would you know what to do? In 2004, Mississippi had the highest number of fire deaths in the nation. Fire Safety Educator April Cuevas said, “We’re down to number five which it doesn’t sound like much, but coming off number one, we’re making headway and it’s dropping every year.”
The state fire marshal’s office hopes that number drops even lower. Since 2004 they’ve been using a special trailer to help spread the word about fire safety. Part of a program created by the state legislature, the trailer is used to simulate fire emergencies, complete with a fog machine, smoke alarms and regular everyday appliances to create a life like situation. Fire Safety Educator Thomas Adams said, “So, we teach that when we hear a smoke alarm go off in our bedrooms, we teach to get out and stay out. That’s one of the most important things to do is to do that. That way, you are already out of the burning house if it is on fire and even if it is a false alarm, you’re still outside.”
When you hear a smoke alarm go off there’s usually two ways to get out. The first is to go through the door, but if the door is hot, the next option is to go through a window and state fire marshal’s say to go to a meeting place and call 9-1-1. “The other thing that we really stress is to not go back inside unless a firefighter okays it to go back inside. Everything can be replaced. Our lives cannot. So, we teach everybody once we’re outside do not go back inside,” said Adams.
The smoke trailer travels all over the state each year to local schools and libraries to educate kids and adults about how to handle a real life fire emergency. “For them to know what to do to get out of a house fire alive, to know that the firemen are their friends, that they are there to help them,” said Cuevas.