Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 11, 1999

A plan for fire safety begins at home

By OPAL "GRANDMA" HABISCH

October is fire prevention month. There are some very important rules to remember if you are ever faced with a fire.

Once, I had a fire in my home. It wasn't a big fire, but the smoke was awful.

I discovered the fire when I came up from downstairs. The house was full of smoke. It seemed to be coming from the oven.

I opened the oven door and the oven burst into flames. That was the wrong thing to do.

When you are looking for the source of smoke in a situation like this, don't open a door unless you feel it first. If it feels warm or hot, you must not open the door because the fire is probably on the other side.

Now, if you are sleeping and you wake up and see the room is full of smoke, don't stand up. The smoke will be thicker towards the ceiling and it may be hard to breathe. Instead, roll out of bed and crawl on the floor with your face as close to the floor as you can get.

If someone else is sleeping in the room, wake them up and tell them to get down on the floor and crawl to safety with you.

Feel the bedroom door. If it is not hot, open the door and continue to crawl to the nearest exit.

If the door is hot, do not open it. Quickly, stuff some blankets along the crack under the door. Then, crawl to a window in the room and open it.

If you are on the first floor, crawl out of the window and run to a safe place away from the burning building.

If you are upstairs and your window is located over a porch roof, crawl onto the porch roof if you cannot see any flames from your window. From the porch roof, yell for someone to help you climb down.

Your mom and dad and all of the children in the family should have a plan for getting out of the house and meeting in a safe place if there is a fire. You can have fire drills at your home to practice getting out of the house and meeting each other in this safe place.

After everyone is safe and accounted for, a family member can run to the nearest neighbor and call 911 to summon the fire department. It is important to clearly state the address so the fire department can find the fire quickly.

Never play with matches or lighters because a fire can happen very quickly. It can even happen by accident, when you didn't mean for a fire to start. If you find matches or a lighter, give them to your mother or another adult to put in a safe place.

Maybe someday, you will grow up to be a firefighter and drive the big red fire truck. Did you know that both men and women can fight fires?


Back to Grandma Menu | Back to Columns Menu

Howard Lake-Waverly Herald & Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal
Stories | Columns | Classifieds | Obituaries
Community Guides | Special Topics | Cool Stuff | Shopping | Home Page