Fire stations help educate kids for Fire Prevention Week

West Virginia

DUNBAR, W.Va. (WOWK) — In a fire, seconds can make the difference between a safe escape, or a tragedy. This week is National Fire Prevention Week across the nation, and local fire stations are educating kids on how to stay safe in case of a fire.

There is a reason such emphasis on prevention is targeted at children. Dunbar fire chief, Chris Thornhill says it’s important for kids to feel safe and become familiar with what a firefighter looks like.

When we bring kids in or go to schools we will dress up in our full gear, with our air-packs on, and that gives the kids a chance to see us in a non-emergency way, get used to the sights, the sounds, the touch, the feels, and that way if they’re ever in a scenario where we are trying to rescue them from a home, at least they’ve seen it before and they’re familiar with it and not afraid of us.” 

Chris Thornhill, Dunbar Fire Chief

But fire prevention isn’t just for children. It is important for teens, adults, and the elderly to make sure they know how to stay safe in case of a fire.

A lot of times adults forget about fire safety as they get older, cause they’re not introduced to it and it gets the adults and parents involved, when the kids come here and tour the station, they go home and it kind of jogs the memories of the parents, it gets them involved and gets them back into doing it and just kind of teaches them what to do if they need help.” 

Isaac Burnetti, Dunbar Firefighter

And one of the simplest, most effective preventative action is to change the batteries in smoke detectors. Both Burnetti and Thornhill recommend changing them every time you change your clock.

The fire chief says that with a lot more indoor activities coming up in the winter months it is important to know what to do in an emergency and how to prevent fires.

We believe that fire prevention starts at home, just like education does.” 

Chris Thornhill, Dunbar Fire Chief

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