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Fire prevention week kicks off in Marcellus

"Stop, drop and roll" may be one of the first things children are taught about fire safety, but fire prevention education goes much deeper than that.

It involves smoke detectors, an escape plan, visible house numbers and knowing to dial 911, just to name a few.

To enlighten local children on the facts of fire prevention and safety, firefighters with the Marcellus Fire Department visited K.C. Heffernan elementary on Friday and brought their pumper, Engine 2, and the gear they wear when fighting a fire. The event was held to kick off Fire Prevention Week, which is Oct. 5 to 11.

Before trucks like the department's pumper arrive at the scene of a blaze, the first defenses against fires in the home are smoke detectors.

When Fisher asked Kindergarteners in Jodi Wiley's and Suzanne Rutan's classes how many had smoke detectors, some of the students raised their hands. Fisher suggested that the students sit down with their parents and talk to them about fire safety and the importance of having working smoke detectors in their homes.

"We want you out of the house," Fisher said. "We would like everyone, preferably, in the front lawn. We do not want you to stay in the house. We do not want you to fight the fire."

Knowing there is a fire in the home because a smoke alarm is beeping isn't nearly as important as having a plan to get out, though. Making an escape route and practicing it as a family will help everyone get out safely in the event of a house fire.

Just like at school, children are encouraged to participate in fire drills at home and to know two escape routes. One of the students spoke up and told the firefighters that he can get out windows.

Because of the amount of smoke even a small fire can cause, Fisher said if ever there is a fire, "don't panic if your house fills with smoke," but instead to get on the floor and crawl out of the structure because smoke rises and cleaner air will be closer to the ground.

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