FAIRFIELD, CT - The Fairfield Fire Department remains active during the Covid-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, the Fairfield Fire Marshal’s Office is on point in its mission of reducing the incidence of fire through code compliance, inspections, and enforcement. At the same time, the Fire Marshal’s Office is busy with Public Education.
During the school year, the town’s Fire Inspector’s and Fire Suppression units deliver annual presentations to elementary and middle school students teaching them about certain fire safety topics including: the sound of a smoke alarm and what it means, EDITH (exit drill in the home), and how to dial 911 for emergency assistance.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairfield Board of Education has taken many steps to protect the town’s children by following the Health Department’s recommendation of closing schools and social distancing. Now that students are staying home looking for activities to do, one of the activities could be to assist the Fire Marshal by reviewing and practicing these fire safety tips.
One of the most important safety features in your home is a working smoke alarm. During new construction, the Fire Marshal’s Office requires smoke alarms in all residential buildings. The Town of Fairfield requires all homes to have smoke alarms in every sleeping area and on all floors of the home. While children are home from school, the activity of checking for working smoke alarms would be a great help to the Fairfield Fire Department. The smoke alarms should be checked every month, their batteries should be changed twice a year, and the smoke alarm should be replaced every 10 years (unless it’s a newer 10-year smoke alarm).
After checking for operable smoke alarms, we teach children what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. If the smoke alarm should sound, we have the students “get out and stay out”! If there should be a smoke condition in the home, the children are taught to “get low and go”. When they get outside, we encourage that there already be an established meeting place. This meeting place could be a neighbor’s house, a tree, a mailbox, or any agreed upon designated location to establish if everyone has gotten out of the building safely. One of the most important lessons taught is once outside, stay outside.
Are you aware that the Fairfield Board of Education follows a state law requiring that fire drills be practiced every month while in school? Although the students are currently learning online, we encourage all families to continue this practice in your homes with your children?
EDITH (exit drills in the home). This is where elementary and middle school children draw a map, or a sketch of their home and learn of two ways to escape from various rooms, if possible. The focus of this escape should be from the sleeping areas. “According to the National Fire Protection Association, only one in three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape. While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of fire, only 47% of those have practiced it” (NFPA, 2016). Being prepared, during the day and evening, by practicing these fire escapes from the home can be very beneficial, if it’s ever needed.
Now that we’re outside and safe, stay outside and call for emergency assistance by dialing 9-1-1. Some questions that might be asked are: What is your emergency? What is the address? What is the telephone number that you’re calling from (in case the dispatcher needs to call you back)?
“Plan ahead. If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire” (www.nfpa.org/education, 2016).
We thank you for assisting us with the mission of keeping our community safe,
Fairfield Fire Marshal’s Office