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National Fire Prevention Week: Time to take action

National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3-9, is more than a message. It’s a time to take action, said Marble Falls Fire Marshal Thomas Crane.

“Throughout October, we are reminding people to check your smoke detectors and change the batteries,” Crane said. “But you also need an exit plan so everyone knows what to do and where to go if one of them goes off.”

The National Fire Prevention Association highlights the need for exit plans as part of Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety Week, Crane pointed out.

“It’s important to make sure your smoke detectors are working, but your family also needs to know what to do if one goes off,” he continued.

He is also stressing the importance of Exit Drill in the Home, a program to help families create exit strategies, including establishing the best exits and where to gather safely outside. An exit plan allows firefighters to know quickly if everyone is out of the house. Fire departments urge family fire drills from time to time to reinforce the procedure.

Marble Falls Fire Rescue will stop by local elementary campuses, daycares, and childcare facilities during the month of October to teach kids about exit drills as well as share other fire prevention measures.

Other home fire safety tips include turning handles of pots and pans in and away from the edge of the stove to prevent people from accidentally knocking them over and keeping fire extinguishers handy.

If you are cooking outside with charcoal, Crane said, don’t toss the charcoal in the trash or in flammable containers when done. Before disposing of charcoal, give it 24-36 hours to cool off.

“Even then, don’t throw it in a trash container or something that can catch fire,” he said. “Sometimes, charcoal burns for a long time, and if you throw it in the trash, it could still start a fire.”

Marble Falls Fire Rescue, located at 700 Avenue N, has a number of fire prevention and safety pamphlets available. People in other cities and communities can check with their local departments as well.

The best fire prevention advice remains the most prevalent.

“Everything starts with the smoke detectors,” Crane said, “and what to do when they go off.”

daniel@thepicayune.com