PECKVILLE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Fires can destroy a home in just minutes. The National Fire Protection Association says there were nearly a half-million structure fires in the US last year. Those fires are not only destructive, they can also be deadly.
This week is fire prevention week and keeping families safe comes down to very simple steps. Assistant Fire Chief Tom Taylor tells Eyewitness News, testing fire alarms are vital.
“Should be testing them at least every month,” Taylor says. “Changing the batteries if they are battery operated twice a year. Generally, we say at the changing of the clocks, when we push them ahead and put them back, that’s a good regiment to get into.”
The Wilson Fire Company in Peckville also stresses all family members should sleep with their doors closed.
“It’s just another line of defense that you have between you and the fire and the smoke,” Assistant Fire Chief Tom Taylor said.
But one of the biggest things they stress to families is to always have a plan.
“To have working smoke detectors installed and tested monthly. Know two ways out of every room or two ways out of your house. Have a meeting place and what number to call in case of emergency,” Taylor said.
Tuesday members of the Wilson Fire Company visited elementary students at Valley View to teach them potentially life-saving lessons.
“It’s just important so you know how to practice, how to get out of your house when there’s a fire,” Genevra Vadella, a second-grader at Valley View said.
“We learned about if there’s smoke in the house, we have to crawl because the smoke is usually up here,” Scarlett Skorupa, a second-grader at Valley View said.
Creating an evacuation plan and setting up a meeting point for your family helps firefighters make sure everyone got out of the burning home.