Escape plans are focus of fire prevention month

For the last 90 years, the week in which October 9 falls has been designated as “Fire Prevention Week”, but for Historic City News readers, what is nationally a week — is locally a month.

Taking advantage of the nationwide emphasis on fire prevention in October each year, the St. Augustine Fire Department uses the themed month to educate the public on fire safety.

“St Augustine firefighters visit elementary schools, pre-schools and daycare centers; we spend time talking about the importance of not just having smoke alarms, but taking the time to test them,” said John Rayno, St. Augustine’s Fire Marshal and Assistant Fire Chief. “After one of our visits, I’m sure there are parents being asked to check smoke alarms by students we met that day — and that’s good.”

Rayno says firefighters are greeted by an audience ready to listen and willing to learn, making the program a very effective way to get information into the home.

This year’s fire prevention theme is “Have 2 Ways Out” — focusing on the need for escape plans that incorporate two exits for each room. Taking stock of available exits is essential to every escape plan, whether for home or business, and those plans need to be well known and practiced.

While the month of October has an emphasis on prevention education, fire department personnel are ready to bring tailor made programming to civic associations, businesses, living facilities, churches and anywhere else a group wants to know more about fire prevention.