As we’ve mentioned before, one of the most important duties our volunteers have is educating our community about safety and what everyone can do to prevent and help in emergency situations. While responding to calls is our greatest priority, education comes in just behind it.
As volunteers, these are a few of our best tips that we share at schools, at health fairs and other community events.
Check Smoke Detectors
We often sound like broken records, because it seems we are constantly reminding people to check the batteries in their smoke alarms. It’s for good reason! Smoke detectors save lives. They are your number one home-protection device and can help ensure people get out of house fires unharmed. We instruct everyone to check their batteries monthly.
Use Space Heaters With Extreme Care
We realize that space heaters are a necessity for many in our community. It’s extremely important to use them with care and caution. Read all instructions carefully before operating. We educate citizens to make certain they place heaters on a flat, level surface and that there is a large area of clear space around the heater — at least three feet in all directions. When buying a new one, look for models with automatic shutoff. This means if the heater is knocked over, rather than starting a fire, it will turn itself off! Plug heaters directly into a wall, not into extension cords. And never leave them unattended!
Buy a Fire Extinguisher
It is always a good idea to have a home fire extinguisher handy. Keep it in a safe, central location and educate all family members on its use. Remember the acronym PASS. It stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep — meaning spray the extinguisher in a sweeping motion.
Prevent Kitchen Fires
Most home fires start in the kitchen during cooking — usually on stovetop. We instruct people to use extra caution in the kitchen. Clear areas around the stove, meaning there are no oven mitts, aprons or curtains that could easily catch fire. Remember, don’t toss water on a grease fire. If a fire starts in a pan — and many do — put a lid on it to suffocate the flames, or use that fire extinguisher we mentioned above.
Clean Your Chimneys
The chimneys in wood-burning fireplaces should be cleaned annually to prevent chimney fires. Debris builds up inside and can easily catch fire.
Lend a Hand
During wintry weather, if you find yourself out shoveling snow, look around for your nearest fire hydrant. It’s extremely helpful to firefighters when community members have shoveled around a hydrant. Just a few feet in each direction helps wonders!
If you’re ready to jump in and help out in our community, our best tip to you is to come join our team! You’ll learn more about these tips and many more safety topics, in addition to receiving safety certifications and hands-on fire and rescue training. Our jobs are incredibly rewarding. Come experience the difference we make for yourself.
Are you looking for a change? Here in Prince William County, the volunteer departments provide fire and emergency medical services to the County’s citizens and visitors during weekday evenings, weekends and holidays. Prince William County’s volunteer fire and rescue departments are seeking motivated individuals who have the desire to make a difference and provide an important service to their community. Learn more now.
- Posted by ATW
- On March 29, 2019
- 0 Comments