Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Visits Classrooms During Fire Prevention Week

Fire departments all over North America, including here in the northwest, are marking Fire Prevention Week with various education programs on how to stay safe.

Deputy Chief of Prince Rupert Fire Rescue, Jeff Beckwith, says one of the focuses of this week is getting children to start thinking about fire safety.

"Presentations with students from kindergarten to grade 3 at our school and this year, we have about 500 students. We just reinforce with them the importance of fire safety and knowing how to get out."

He says speaking with young kids get the message out soon as possible and in a consistent way.

"This is going to the same message in Prince Rupert as it will be in Regina and Toronto. We get the same message out to the children on how to be safe around fires, what to do and what not to do."

One of the messages they want residents to take away is ensuring they have a way out of their home in case there's an emergency. He says it's extremely important to plan to have multiple ways out incase the main way is not accessible.

"If you can get out of your house safely, first see who else made it out safely and have a place where everybody knows where to meet. It provides accountability so when we roll up to the scene, we will know if there's people inside trapped or if everyone is safe."

Beckwith says having the plan is extremely important because when a fire sparks in your home, seconds matter.

"In homes today, we are seeing fires spreading more rapidly compared to the more traditional furniture styles we had in the '70s. Fires are spreading throughout homes faster. With those fires the smoke and fire gases coming off those fires are much more toxic."

While this week puts a spot light on fire prevention, Beckwith says no one should hesitate to contact to fire hall should they have question about fire safety year-round.