Never too early to learn about fire safety

Students from Nakusp Elementary School learn about fire safety from local firefighters.

Nakusp Fire Chief Terry Warren paid a visit to Nakusp Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 9.

As part of Fire Prevention Week, Chief Warren, along with volunteer firefighters Greg Dobicki and Miraiah Warren, spoke to students from the kindergarten class, up to those from Grade 3.

The group went over things which are hot and cold, what to do if a child finds a lighter or matches, and the importance of getting out of the house when a fire is happening.

Chief Warren said children are the most vulnerable in fires, and there was a big push to have smoke alarms in every room of the house, and to also have alarms on every level.

“Studies have been done that show with kids, when the alarm goes off, they cover their heads, and if it’s outside their room they might not hear it as well, but if it’s in the room it’s more dominant, and they should wake up.” said Warren.

Part of the reason they hide is because even though the firefighters are there to help, with all the equipment they wear, they look very different, and kids are scared.

To help squash these fears, firefighter Miriah Warren put on her gear in front of the students, everything from her boots, to her gas mask, even turning on her oxygen tank.

“When the firefighters come in, they sound like Darth vader, or some kind of monster with the heavy breathing apparatus. We want them to realize that so they’re not scared of the firefighters,” said Chief Warren.

He said when they go into a home, they want to be able to find the children right away, and not have to search through closets or under beds to get to them.

Another issue addressed was not going back inside while the home was still on fire. If, for example, a pet has been left inside, let firefighters know so they can search for the animal.

“We don’t want them going back, because if they go into a burning house, it’s a really bad situation, and they might not make it back out,” said Warren.

Students were encouraged to be prepared if a fire ever breaks out in their home. Have a meeting place a safe distance away, call 911 as quickly as possible, and never go back into a burning building.