Newtown Educates Citizenry About Fire Prevention
Newtown places high priority on educating its citizens about fire safety and hands out free smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for those who could not afford them.
Their efforts have been a local highlight of Nartional Fire Prevention Week, which has been observed for nearly 100 years, since 1922, when President Calvin Coolidge made the week a national observance. This is, according to National Fire Prevention Association, the “longest-running public health observance” in the United States. It is observed in October as a commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire that was started when, as lore has it, Mrs. O’Leary’s cow tipped over a lantern. The fire spread and damaged a great part of the city was damaged proving the destructive forces of an unchecked fire.
As part of the week, Firefighters across the country seek to educate both the young and old in safety precautions that could very well be life saving. Per the Newtown Bee, representatives of the five local volunteer fire companies — Botsford, Dodgingtown, Hawleyville, Newtown Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook — visited schools across town in this mission.
Look, learn, listen back to top
This year’s campaign is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The tenets of this campaign urge people to “look around your home [and] identify potential fire hazards and take care of them. Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm,” and “learn two ways out of every room, and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.” While this couplet might be easy to remember for children, it is the adults in the house who must take care of potential hazards and making sure exits are free of clutter. Fire safety is everyone’s business.
Making sure that smoke detectors are running is of the utmost importance as the NFPA says that three out of every five deaths happen in homes with no working smoke detectors. Smoke detectors must be installed in every bedroom and on every level of the home, including the basement, but keeping them high on the wall away from the kitchen. You should be testing them once a month, and most modern smoke detectors only need to be replaced once every 10 years. So as long as you are testing them and replacing the battery, you will be prepared should a fire ever occur.
Per the Newtown Bee, local residents in need who want a smoke detector or a CO detector for their homes should go to the fire marshal’s office at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street within Fairfield Hills. The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 4:30 pm, and can be reached at 203-270-4370.