Junior Fire Chief Winning Essay 2020

Junior Fire Chief Aeron Jones holds his trophy! From left to right:  Fire Marshall Ryan Fairbanks, Junior Fire Marshall Aeron Jones and Fire Inspector Scott Thomas, behind the wheel is Fire Inspector Mike Madwijiw.

When you think about fire safety in your home the first thing that typically comes to mind is being safe in the kitchen, the reason why is because cooking involves oil and open flame. The NFPA reports that cooking related accidents are the number one cause for house fires. In this essay I will be explaining how to avoid a fire, what's recommended to do if there is a fire and how they spread.

Cooking specific meals may require some sort of oil like vegetable oil or peanut oil in a pan above a flame, and since accidents happen sometimes the oil may come into contact with the flame directly and cause it to become dangerous for anyone close to the stove. Any oil or grease SHOULD be kept away from coming into direct contact with fire. Another thing is to keep any fabric, wood or plastics a reasonable distance away from the stove top whether it's on or not because metals trap heat and could burn it.

There's also more to fire safety in the kitchen than just being wary of stoves. Make sure to have an escape plan and practice it twice a year. Always have a smoke detector near the entrance of the kitchen and not inside of it, the reason being is that cooking can release smoke even when it's not dangerous and set the alarm off. NEVER leave a pan unattended when cooking. Always make sure to replace your smoke detectors every ten years and test the smoke detectors often and replace their batteries often. Make sure to also keep any electronics away from the sink. Always have a multipurpose fire extinguisher nearby to put out any grease, combustible or electric fires.
(Combustible means objects like wood and paper.) NEVER put water on a grease or electrical fire.

If a fire is not able to be put out in time contact emergency services to report the emergency after getting out of the building. Make sure to lay low and avoid breathing in the smoke, leave all belongings behind. If you have to get past a door during a fire use the back of your hand and press it against the doorknob. If it is warm, don't open it, if it is normal you can proceed. You may have to go out of a window in a fire, make sure there is a safe way to get to the ground if it is too high.

Fire safety is important to practice because you are important. Many people perish due to fire related accidents. Make sure to create an escape plan and practice it twice a year and replace your smoke detectors' batteries often.

Aeron Jones

Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 6:07 AM, 10.08.2020