Fire department encourages having 'Two Ways Out' for National Fire Prevention Week

This year's theme focuses on having and practicing multiple escape routes.
Columbia resident Miranda DeCourley plays inside a Columbia Fire Department truck in September 2010 on Lowry Mall. This week is National Fire Prevention Week and the Columbia Fire Department will visit local elementary schools to discuss fire safety.

The Columbia Fire Department is busy promoting this year's National Fire Prevention Week theme, "Have Two Ways Out," by putting on skits at Columbia schools and holding discussions at local businesses.

Columbia Fire Marshal Brad Fraizer said an escape plan is something everyone should have, regardless of location. According to the news release, if one escape is blocked by smoke or flame, having a second way out can save your life.

“We are working with local schools and organizations to discuss ‘Two Ways Out,’” Fraizer said. “Tryps Children’s Theater performs skits with the theme.”

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7-13, and this year’s message focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice, according to a Columbia Fire Department news release. Most of the activities are designed for children.

“The hope is that they will go home and tell their parents,” Fraizer said.

In the past, the department focused on causes of accidental fires, such as "Candles: When you go out, blow it out," and preventative measures, including "Grease Fires: Put a lid on it" and “Smoke Detectors: A sound you can live with." Like these past campaigns, the release stresses that practice is key.

The fire department visited ABC Labs, the American Architect Association, Stephens Stables, Columbia Housing Authority and the Islamic Center of Central Missouri to discuss Fire Prevention Week. Fraizer said some local businesses reached out to the fire department to participate.

The fire department also visited several schools on Tuesday and Thursday.

“We focused on mostly younger schools with Tryps," Fraizer said.

Firefighters and Tryps acted out scenarios together, according to the news release.

Although there were no events scheduled for MU students this year, Fraizer said fire safety is still extremely important.

“College students live in highly populated areas," Fraizer said. "The number of tragedies increases in these areas."

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