Officials working to educate public on fire safety - WSMV News 4

Officials working to educate public on fire safety

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Children attended a fire prevention event on Friday at Bicentennial Mall. Children attended a fire prevention event on Friday at Bicentennial Mall.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Tennessee fire officials are working to educate the public on how to stay safe during Fire Prevention Week.

Tennessee has one of the highest death rates from fires in the country. Firefighters are hoping the kids attending Friday’s event at Bicentennial Mall and the public walk away with a plan.

Hundreds of fires destroy homes and lives each year.

With the start of Fire Prevention Week on Friday, firefighters hope to cut those numbers down.

Children came to Bicentennial Mall to learn the basics and take home a potential plan to their families.

Outreach coordinators said that is what households need the most.

“It’s surprising, but a lot of people don’t have a plan,” said Sarah Basel, American Red Cross Nashville. “What we are trying to do is educate families about having a plan, talking to your family and actually practicing that plan so that you and your friends and family know what to do when there is a home fire.

In addition to a plan, firefighters said some moves can save your life when you only have a couple of minutes to escape.

“We have had a campaign to close the door,” said Julie McPeak, Tennessee Commerce and Insurance commissioner. “You can stop the spread of fire in your home really remarkably by just closing the door to your bedrooms and a lot of families don’t know that if you close those doors before you go to sleep at night, you really do increase the chance that the family member can get out and the fire won’t spread throughout the home.”

Officials also suggest installing smoke detectors in homes.

Fire officials also remind residents to check the smoke detectors annually. A number of people continue to lose homes and lives because they don’t have properly working smoke detectors.

“At this time of year particularly, watch your source of heat in the home,” said McPeak. “Please watch space heaters, any kind of fuel you might use to heat your home, because there’s increased risk with all of those.”

Firefighters said if you don’t have a smoke detector, you can visit your local fire department and ask to have one installed.

The state fire marshal’s office has a number of events planned for this week, including a live burn demonstration on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Bicentennial Mall to show how quickly a fire can spread.

Other events scheduled for the next week include:

Saturday, Oct. 10: American Red Cross volunteers will be installing smoke detectors in homes in Nashville and Memphis

Saturday, Oct. 10: Ten fire departments across Tennessee have been challenged to install 100 alarms in a 24-hour period to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the state fire marshal’s office.

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