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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Oct 7, 2009

Oct. 4-10 is National Fire Prevention Week, a good time for us all to remind ourselves about fire safety and to thank those brave firefighters who make life safer for us all.

Iowa law requires that every home have a fire alarm. That’s a good idea whether it’s the law or not. So make sure you have an alarm that’s in good working order.

Also make sure that you have an escape plan in the event of fire. Every family member old enough to read should be aware of what that plan is. It’s even a good idea to run occasional “fire drills” to make sure everyone is up to speed on the plan.

Avoiding fire hazards is something else every family should stress. We all know that kids shouldn’t play with matches or fire. The key is, though, that kids understand WHY they shouldn’t do that. When they’re still young enough to be scared straight, sit them down and explain to them the dangers of playing with fire.

Inspect your home for obvious fire hazards such as storing gas cans by gas water heaters or burning candles next to drapes. Does it sound silly that people would do such things? Well, perfectly intelligent people burn homes down by those and other methods.

And, above all, support your local fire departments. Unlike many other areas, where everyone is taxed substantially for fire protection, our departments rely heavily on donations. So give and give generously to the next fire department fundraiser or dance.

It’s also a good idea to observe fire protection not only this week, but every week of the year.

By working together, we can all prevent fires in our homes and places of work.