This week Barrow County Emergency Services will join fire departments around the nation marking the days as Fire Prevention Week.
From Oct. 6-12, emergency services officials are inviting citizens to join them in working to prevent fires from happening.
“This year’s theme is ‘Prevent Kitchen Fires’ and there are several things citizens can do to prevent them,” said Lt. Scott Dakin. “This week we want citizens to take time with their families and look at ways to prevent fires from happening in their homes. We also want them to develop a plan that includes having working smoke alarms and what they will do if a fire happens in their home.”
One area of the kitchen that citizens sometimes don’t realize can be a hazard is the microwave.
Dakin provided some simple tips for using a microwave which include:
•Purchase a microwave oven that has the label of an independent testing laboratory. Make sure to complete and return the product registration card. This way the manufacturer can reach you if there is a recall on the product.
•Plug the microwave oven directly into the wall outlet — never use an extension cord.
•Make sure the microwave oven is at a safe height, within easy reach of all users.
•Open food slowly, away from the face. Hot steam or the food itself can cause burns.
•Food heats unevenly in microwave ovens. Stir and test before eating or giving to children.
•Never heat a baby bottle in the microwave. Since a microwave oven heats unevenly, it can create hot pockets, leading to burns. Warm a bottle in a bowl of warm — not hot or boiling water.
While firefighters with Barrow County Emergency Services will be teaching at several elementary schools this week, the department works year round to prevent fires and help citizens plan escape routes.
“Firefighters spend hundreds of hours each year training to extinguish fires and save lives. They take a lot of pride in the job they do,” said Dakin. “The truth is, though, that the citizens can do more to save lives by stopping the fire from happening and by having an early warning system in their homes. By having working smoke alarms in their home a citizen can double their chances of surviving a fire.”