Fire prevention is always one of Russellville Fire Department’s biggest goals, and this year the department has a little extra help to spread the word about fire safety.
The National Fire Protection Association and State Farm agent Rhett Bradford are teaming up with RFD to support Fire Prevention Week, an annual public awareness campaign promoting fire safety.
“We are really excited to have them helping us out,” said fire marshal Justin Green.
RFD is receiving a fire prevention toolkit, which includes posters, coloring books, brochures and more to teach children the importance of fire safety. Green said these resources will be focused at West Elementary School for students to learn about fire safety.
“I know how important it is to know about fire safety, so I’m glad I was able to get them some resources that can help educate kids,” said Bradford, a former firefighter himself.
Green said normally RFD is able to visit schools and educate the students about fire safety. This year will be a little different because of COVID-19.
“We are thinking about making videos for students to educate them on fire safety,” Green said.
Green said he would love to use child-favorite characters like Sparky the fire dog or Russellville mascot Champ as part of the programming, but these are all just ideas right now.
State Farm agents are delivering Fire Prevention Week toolkits to more than 2,500 fire departments across the country. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” focuses on cooking fire safety. According to the NFPA, home cooking fires represent the leading cause of all fires, with nearly half happening in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of these fires.
“The good news is that the majority of kitchen fires are highly preventable,” Bradford said. “These great kits will help our fire departments spread the news to always stay focused when you’re in the kitchen and never leave the kitchen unattended.”
Key messages in this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign will include the following:
· Keep a close eye on what you’re cooking; never leave cooking unattended.
· Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — at least three feet away from your stovetop.
· Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” visit fpw.org.