By Spc. Amanda McBride, 3rd ID Public AffairsOctober 10, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- A home fire can be prevented by turning off the stove after use or checking smoke alarms monthly. Implementing other preventions can possibly make the difference between preventing a home fire and another very dangerous alternative.
In an effort to prevent fires, Fort Stewart Fire Station One firefighters and inspectors held an open house and parade, Oct. 4 in observance of Fire Prevention week, Oct. 5 - 11.
Approximately 2,000 Soldiers and Family Members attended this year's open house with the theme for the week being "Prevent Home Fires".
"The community needs to learn of fire safety in the home," said Jose Sanchez, a Fort Stewart fire inspector. "It's just a good day to have the Family and children here, so they can both learn."
The day's activities kicked off with a parade through Fort Stewart housing areas.
Fire and safety trucks drove through housing with sirens blaring and horns blowing in an attempt to get everyone down to the fire station.
"The parade was held so we could bring attention to the base populace about fire safety and to get them to come down to the open house," said Ezekiel Vaughns, a Fort Stewart fire inspector.
The open house gave children the opportunity to tour the fire station, view fire truck demonstrations, play games and activities, and get to know the fire fighters and inspectors.
"We are trying to make sure they know that we're not someone to be afraid of if we come in their homes when we are wearing all of our equipment," Vaughns said.
Children were also able to go through a fire safety smokehouse to simulate being in an actual fire.
"The smokehouse is an educational tool designed to teach children fire safety," Sanchez said.
Children went through scenarios that placed them in the living room, kitchen and bedroom.
They were able to learn proper procedures and what to do if put in that situation.
"The house is divided into three rooms, and as they go through each individual room, we teach them the safety pertaining to that particular room," Sanchez said. "In the kitchen, they learned not to touch pots or stoves while they are hot, and in the living room we teach them not to play with lighters and matches. We also teach them about fire alarms and how to feel for hot doors in the bedroom. We hope they get a sense of fire safety and be safe in the house at same time."
Also during the open house and parade, Smokey the bear and Sparky the dog made appearances to help remind children to remember fire safety.