Jaws of Life Part of Fire Prevention Week Demos
By Wendy Osher
The Maui Fire Department hosts two fire safety demonstrations this month as part of Fire Prevention Week in Maui County.
The demonstrations, which are open to the general public, run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on two consecutive Fridays:
- October 14th at the Keopuolani Park Horseshoe Pit Field;
- October 21st, at the Lahaina Recreation field behind the Boys & Girls Club.
During the demonstrations MFD personnel will focus on this year’s theme, Protect Your Family From Fire!
Those in attendance will learn what they can do to prevent fires at home, get kitchen safety tips, make fire escape plans, and find out the importance of having working fire alarms.
In addition to firefighter equipment and gear, kids in attendance will also get a glimpse at the “Jaws of Life,” see ladder trucks and fire hoses in action, and get a visit from Smokey Bear and Sparky Dog.
“Fire prevention is best learned at a young age, so I urge all parents to try and get their children to watch one of these two demonstrations during Fire Prevention Week,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa.
“The kids will have fun and they’ll learn safety lessons that will benefit our entire community,” he said.
According to the Maui Fire Department, there were 2,565 people killed in home fires nationally in 2009.
“Nearly all of these deaths could have been prevented by taking a few simple precautions like having working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan and keeping things that can burn away from the stove,” a department press release stated.
“Fire is a dangerous opponent, but by anticipating the hazards, you are much less likely to be one of the nearly 13,000 people injured in home fires each year,” said Kapono Stupplebeen, Maui County fire inspector and public education officer.
The Maui Fire Department offers the following tips for protecting your home and family from fire:
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
- If you smoke, smoke outside.
- Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
- Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
- Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home (including the basement).
- Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Test smoke alarms at least monthly and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond when tested.
- Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if the smoke alarm sounds.
- Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible ways out. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.
- If you are building or remodeling your home, consider installing home fire sprinklers.
- Have big easily readable numbers on your home or mailbox so the fire department can find your house.