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Norwalk collaborates to focus on fire prevention

• Jul 15, 2019 at 12:00 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written collaboratively by Norwalk area partners and submitted by Ellen Heinz, the city’s safety-service director.

Prevention is critical in all safety situations. Whether it’s paying attention to your surroundings or installing a security system in your home, it is something all of us can and should be involved in — today and every day.

Over the years, the Norwalk’s fire department and administration, police department and the city’s longstanding community partners such as Fisher-Titus Medical Center, United Fund, the American Red Cross, Huron County health department, civic clubs, Norwalk Reflector, WLKR and many others have worked hard to focus on fire prevention.

For decades, the community has provided fire prevention activities and training in a variety of ways. 

Among them:

• Safety Town classes, which educate all incoming kindergarteners and utilize the Huron County Firefighters Association/Fisher-Titus “smoke house” to teach children what to do in a fire

• American Red Cross events such as May’s Fire Walk, funded by the United Fund, and Sound the Alarm which distributes and installs free smoke detectors to area families; to o

• Activities that culminate with the National Fire Prevention month in October.

The Norwalk Fire Department always has been very active promoting prevention, especially with Fire Chief John Soisson’s extraordinary leadership and emphasis on this area.

The fire department and Fisher-Titus have partnered for many years to extend prevention efforts beyond the October Awareness Month. Fisher-Titus provides free smoke detectors for firefighters to have on their trucks so they can install them in homes that do not have working alarms year-round. Firefighters are so committed to this critical initiative that if for some reason they don’t have a detector readily available for a family in need, team members have purchased them on their own to make sure that families are taken care of in a timely manner.

The city of Norwalk and all of our “fire prevention” partners are coming together to make an even stronger push this August to re-emphasize the critical importance of fire prevention with the creation of the Norwalk Fire Prevention Partnership.

This collaborative effort is finalizing a more formal annual plan that culminates every year with the National Fire Prevention month in October. The details of the plan will be rolled out within the next few weeks with articles focusing on different aspects of fire prevention by guest writers each week in August.

We will have an increased distribution of smoke detectors, additional awareness through an enhanced multi-faceted communication strategy via all media outlets, more educational and promotion materials at city buildings (especially the Ernsthausen Recreation Center and other local high-traffic places), and engaging as many community members as possible.

Most importantly, we should all be talking to our family, our friends, our neighbors and our coworkers about how critical it is to have working smoke detectors on all floors of homes, and to know and follow fire safety rules.


Fire Prevention Tips

The Norwalk Fire Department provided the following information about fire safety.

Fire prevention is a very important topic that needs to be taken seriously. Adults and children need to have a basic understanding of fire prevention, and the steps you must take in the event of a fire.

Three out of five deaths in a house fire happen because there were either no smoke detectors, or the smoke detectors were not properly working.

Following these simple guidelines and tips will ensure you and your family are maintaining the highest level of fire safety:

• Have smoke detectors on each level of your home and outside of sleeping areas.

• Have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector if you have any gas appliances. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that only a detector can sense.

• Replace smoke/CO detectors every seven years to ensure they are functioning properly.

• Test smoke/CO detectors every month and change the batteries twice a year.

• Ensure all occupants of your home are aware of an escape plan in the event a fire occurs.

• Form a "meeting place" so all occupants know where to go once they are out of the home.

• Ensure everyone knows how to "stop, drop and roll."

• Make sure everyone knows their home address and how to properly call 9-1-1.

• Remember to blow out candles and to unplug all fragrance devices when not at home.

• Turn off all artificial heaters when not home.

• Never leave a stove or cooking appliance unattended.

• Stay low and crawl underneath smoke in the event of a fire.

• Feel doors with the back of hand to check for heat.

• You must practice, practice, practice to ensure you and your family are maintaining the highest level of fire safety.

Thank you for your support and for your love of our community.

Let’s work together to raise awareness and best protect our families, friends and neighbors.

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