October 4-10 is National Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!TM” It is also an opportunity to remind us of all the great work and community service our fire fighters and first responders do every day of the year.
The 2020 national campaign is designed to educate everyone about simple, but critical actions we can take to maintain safety in the kitchen.
Normally, Deputy Fire Marshal and Fire Education Coordinator Jonathan Gilliam, would be putting together a series of live-action skits and informative plays to share at GISD assemblies or with community groups. This year, due to limits on crowd size, the department has found creative ways to still answer the call. The Education office created a short film about fire safety, which will be shared via online links, streaming channels, and on physical DVDs.
There is also a Fire Prevention video contest to allow the kids to be creative in return. Jonathan is encouraging students to make their own videos about fire safety; the department will share the entries on social media platforms and web pages.
Additionally, the station tour program has been adapted for virtual audiences. Teachers and parents may request a live video tour or meetup to learn about individual stations. “This is not another movie,” Jonathan explains. “It is a live feed where the fire fighter walks around the station and explains the various apparatus and equipment. People and students on the call can ask questions and talk directly to us about fire safety. Tours are customized for the audience and age group, and can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.”
Jonathan also reports that Koda, our Community Engagement mascot, is doing very well but misses getting out in town to see all her friends, young and old.
Everyone in the community is also invited to celebrate ribbon cuttings for our newest stations; Station 6 at 6700 Williams Drive is scheduled to begin service this month, and Station 7 at 2711 E. University Ave. will be open in early 2021. Keep up to date with their news at fire.georgetown.org.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Thanksgiving is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment.
- The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
- Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it’s cool.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
- Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
- Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a monthusing the test button.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
Members of the Georgetown Fire and Police Departments met at the GISD Sports Complex on September 11 to remember and memorialize the first responders who sacrificed their lives in 2001. Each member, many wearing a full complement of gear, walked the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs on the bleachers at the field.
The flag posted at the top of the stairs (at right) contains the names of all the firefighters who perished that day.
While fire trucks technically require motorists to stay back a minimum of 350 feet, many stations and vehicles have changed the sign to 343—so we never forget the number of fallen heroes at Ground Zero.