OUR VIEW: Plan your escape, fire doesn’t wait

Draw up and practice a family fire evacuation plan

Except for those who are affected directly, either through unhappy circumstance or because they are family, friends or neighbours, fire department volunteers mostly go unnoticed.

In reality, however, they are the unsung heroes of our communities.

Every time firefighters go to a fire call-out there is the potential for injury or worse. Undoubtedly, they go into these hazardous situations because of their sense of duty and because they want to make a difference in the lives of the folks in their communities.

Between those call-outs, however, is where the real work is being done to make our communities safer.

Firefighters train on a weekly basis to ensure they protect themselves and their teammates from injury in firefighting scenarios. They also take numerous courses to learn the best way to deal with emergency situations. We should take the time to tell them we appreciate everything they do for us, whether it’s through a simple statement of gratitude when we greet them, or by supporting them as fire department society volunteers, or shelling out a few dollars at all of their fundraisers.

We suspect, however, our firefighters would appreciate it the most if we practised fire safety not only this week during National Fire Prevention Week, but also every day of the year. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “Protect your Family from Fire.”

One of the most important things we can do to protect our families is to draw up and practise using a family fire evacuation plan.

We should also ensure we have extinguishers and smoke detectors, and get into the habit of checking the smoke alarm batteries once a month.

For more information on fire safety tips, visit: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/firecom/pubed/fpw.htm.

– Black Press