By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – Resident Mary Ramsey said having a plan to get out of a fire safely is key, and something little ones especially should learn.
Her children did so visiting smoke houses.
However, the city’s Fire Safety House which is used for educational outreach for local schools and students, fell into disrepair over a number of years. Fire Chief Stephen Portis’ goal is to upgrade the facility, and get to use it this fall to bring in fourth-graders from elementary schools to teach home fire safety.
The small dwelling has a few rooms, kitchen, upstairs bedroom and multiple doors and windows.
“The smoke house is a very important tool in teaching fire safety,” Portis said. “We want to offer that education service to Taylor residents, and we really appreciate Home Depot volunteering to bring the house back to life.”
The Fire Department, along with the American Red Cross, offers free smoke detectors and free installation to residents who request it. The program has been running throughout the summer. To make an appointment, call the Red Cross at 313-576-4147.
The Red Cross underscores the point that fire prevention starts in the home. During a fire, an occupant may have no more than two minutes to get to safety. Sixty percent of fire deaths occur in homes with no working fire detector. Families need a working smoke detector and a fire escape plan to insure safety in their dwelling.
Basic fire prevention tips to follow include:
• Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
• Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
• If a fire occurs in the home, get out, stay out and call for help.
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)