Dalmatians, and Popcorn, and Fires, Oh My!

This year at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, the many agencies promoting family safety messages overflowed.  My brain was packed full of information about staying safe around grain bins, electrical wires, on a bicycle, flying an airplane, driving a car, and by getting medical exams.  But every year my favorite location is always the fire safety tent next to the Illinois Fire Museum.

  • We met Dicey - the Fire Dog
  • My kids challenged me to several rounds of fire safety trivia - TV game show style.  (I won, by the way!)
  • We put out a virtual fire with a high tech fire extinguisher. 
  • Using a real water fire extinguisher, we "saved" a building full of fire victims by spraying water at wooden "fires".
  • We touched and played with several styles of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • The kids got to slide down a real fire pole (I didn't try it.) 
  • We practiced escaping from "real" smoke by crawling out of a room. 
  • We looked over antique and modern fire safety equipment. 
  • We put out a stove fire by placing a lid on a flaming pan of grease.
  • And we ate popcorn. (Did you know that scorched popcorn causes a significant number of  actual house fires?)
House fires are the most likely disaster your family may experience.  Knowing how to handle a small fire - a grease fire on the stove or a candle knocked over - can save your family.  Talking about when to get out and where to meet can save your family.  Practicing fire drills at home - crawling to the nearest exits - helps everyone remember exactly what to do.  Keeping your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers maintained and tested may save your life someday.  And children who understand how fire equipment works and what a fire mask looks like can see a fireman as a hero come to rescue them.

Statistics show time and time again that fire safety equipment and training saves lives.  But your family isn't a statistic, are they?  Make a plan, right now, to practice some fire safety during National Preparedness Month.

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