FLATWOODS, Ky. — Brent Dean, chief of the Flatwoods Fire Department, and his staff of 30 firefighters, are proactive about National Fire Prevention for the month of October, and beyond.
Dean works in conjunction with the FFD firefighters to conduct classes in the local school regarding fire safety and prevention.
“We have been to 26 classes at the Primary School here in Russell. We’ve been to four different church day cares, and day cares for private businesses,”Dean said.
FFD has a smoke detector program in which detectors are distributed to families as needed.
“We have a smoke detector program where we will go out, and if you don’t have smoke detectors in your house, we will put smoke detectors in your house for you,” Dean said. “Once we do that we usually have a couple of kids that say they do not have smoke detectors in their house, and so then we will get with the teacher, get the child’s name and then reach out to the parents and see if we can get smoke detectors in their house. We give the students a little homework assignment, and ask them to go home and ask their parents where the meeting place is, and we also ask them to ask their parents to go and check their smoke detectors, and make sure they are operative, because this is the time of year to switch them.”
Safety precautions concerning the use of space heaters is a prevalent issue in homes.
“With the winter time approaching, we try to talk to people about avoiding overloading their electrical circuits with their space heater,” he said. “Space heaters are a big thing now, and as it is getting colder people will put space heaters too close to their furniture, or too close to their blankets, and then they will go off somewhere and leave the space heater on. This is something that people want to be very careful about, and avoid, as well as overload their electrical system in the house. Another thing we discuss is cooking late at night. If you come home late at night, have been working a lot, it is not the best thing to put on something that requires a lot of oil, or something like that, that can cause a kitchen fire. It is also always good to have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.”
Chief Dean said calling 911 is the first and most important step should a fire occur.
“The big thing that we stress, and the most important is to be able to call 911, and once they get outside of the house, to make sure that they remain outside of the house, and don’t go back inside of the house for any reason,” he said. “Have a meeting place, so that when the families do go outside, they have a place to go to, to make sure they are there FFD also conducts home inspections to ensure that homes are as fire proof as possible.”
“Our fire department is open all of the time, and people are always welcome to come in. If they want to have their house inspected if they live in Flatwoods, if they want us to come in and point out some things that could possibly cause some trouble in the long run we would be more than happy to do that,” he said.
For more information, or to talk with FFD staff call, 606-836-7177. Should FFD not be available calls may directed to the Flatwoods City Building at 606-836-9661, and messages left.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.