ROCK SPRINGS – The community’s young minds are soaking up fire safety this week as the Rock Springs Fire Department is making its annual school visits. At the Rock Springs City Council meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Carl Demshar declared this week as Fire Prevention Week.
While not quite ready to take over for Dave Walsh, RSFD Firefighter Tony Colbert has became the voice of the Rock Springs Fire Department. On Tuesday, he said this year the department is focusing on the importance of smoke detectors with the students. He said this is one week the RSFD looks forward to each year as they get to visit with over 2,400 children of the community.
Fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally. Home fires killed more that 2,700 people in the United States in 2013. Fire Departments in the United States responded to more than 360,000 home fires.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half. Some interesting fact given Tuesday night were three out of five homes where fire deaths resulted were without working smoke alarms. In one-fifth of all homes with smoke alarms none were working and when smoke alarms should have operated but did not do so, it was usually because batteries were missing, disconnected or dead.
The RSFD said residents should install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home. Residents should install smoke alarms and alert devices that meet the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Residents should also have a escape plan and practice it. Councilman Rob Zotti said the escape plan is so important to practice because things can get confusing in the dark especially when things are going on around them. Colbert agreed.
“You literally have minutes before a house becomes impassible,” he stressed.
Through education, especially starting at at young age, the RSFD is hoping to cut down on fires and deaths. Another thing Colbert said is when they visit the Rock Springs Junior High, they do a little kitchen fire presentation. He said when they ask if anyone has every seen kitchen fires first hand almost every hand goes up.
Mayor Carl Demshar said the fire department does a wonderful job educating the community. He specifically said they work the RSFD does with the local children is priceless when it comes to safety.