ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The public is invited to join the Alachua County Department of Public Safety in celebrating Fire Prevention Week on October 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Station 19 at 4501 SW 20th Ave. in Gainesville. Fire Station tours will begin at 11:15.
Patches, the robotic fire safety dog, will greet visitors and give fire safety messages. Fire department equipment and trucks will be on display. There will be games and activities for children, home escape plan information, free smoke alarms, and free hot dog lunches.
The rate of burn injuries has gone up locally and nationally in the past year; it is everyone's responsibility to reverse that trend. Preventing just one fire and one person from being burned saves thousands of dollars; but the real savings is not having the life-long pain and suffering of being severely injured by being burned.
The top fire safety behaviors emphasized by the Department of Public Safety are:
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- Have a smoke alarm and change the batteries twice a year. Test it once a month. Replace the alarm every 10 years.
- Make and practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in the home. Practice it at night, also.
- If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop, cover your face, and roll.
- If the smoke alarm goes off, get out immediately. Crawl low under smoke. Call 911 once outside of the home.
- Do not overload electrical outlets or cover up cords under rugs.
- If smokers are in the house, make sure all smoking materials are put out thoroughly. Do not smoke in bed or when tired and sleepy.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking, keeping pot handles turned inward. Keep curtains, paper towels, etc. away from the stove.
- If using portable heaters, keep them at least 3 feet from all flammable materials.
- If using candles, put them out when leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Clean the clothes dryer vents out regularly.
- Have the chimney cleaned and checked yearly.
For answers to questions about fire safety, please call the Alachua County Department of Public Safety at 352-384-3101. Public Education Coordinators are available for group presentations on fire and life safety topics for children and adults.