“Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” was the theme last week as the Monroe City Fire Department (MCFD) celebrated Fire Prevention Week held October 6-12. Firefighters visited the Holy Rosary School, Monroe City R-1 Elementary and throughout the community. The MCFD worked to educate everyone about the small but important actions which can be taken to keep themselves and those around them safe.
On Monday, October 7-8, the MCFD visited ABC Daycare and the preschool students at Holy Rosary School. On Wednesday, the MCFD shared fire prevention and taught safety protocols to the Monroe City Head Start. The MCFD visited the Monroe City Manor Care Center on Thursday. Friday was spent at the MCR-1 Elementary School with grades pre-k thru fourth grade. Principal Kim Shinn shared, “The staff is having a chili cook-off while the firefighters are here. The firefighters are the judges and winner takes home a gift basket.” The gift basket included a large Dutch oven pot with kitchen utensils for the award-winning chili chef. The winner of the chili cook-off was Mrs. Susanne Beer, who named her award-winning recipe “Momma’s Fabulous Chili”.
Firefighters showed the students equipment and how it works during emergencies. The children were given a chance to ask questions about fires. Firefighters taught about the importance of fire alarms, when to change the batteries, for each home to have a fire plan and safe meeting place in case of a fire, reminded them to never go back in a house after items or pets, how to check door knobs for temperatures with the back of their hand, to crawl out if there is smoke present and to stop, drop and roll, along with covering their eyes. After the discussion, the classes were taken outside to learn about the firetruck and how it operates.
On Saturday, October 12, MCFD hosted an open house for the public to come visit the fire station. Several community members, young and old, enjoyed activities offered throughout the day. Several were seen enjoying the firehouse popcorn and hot dogs which was handed out to all who attended. Later in the afternoon, the MCFD hosted a community bon fire and hayride at South Lake.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association(NFPA) survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. Three out of five home fire deaths in 2010-2014 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half. In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94 percent of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80 percent of the time. When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.