Hitting the road for fire safety

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

There was a time, before COVID-19, When Fire Safety Week was a chance for firefighters to get out into the public to interact with people face-to-face.

The last two years have changed that, relegating the Austin Fire Department to finding other ways to still get their message of fire safety out.

“Just like everything, there’s nothing like face-to-face with people,” said Austin Fire Chief Jim McCoy. “Realizing they are getting it by the look in their eyes and the look on their face. Being able to see kids as firefighters and know we are human.”

However, the pandemic isn’t completely putting the brakes on the department. On Tuesday morning, an Austin fire truck drove slowly passed an assembled line of Pacelli Catholic Schools students.

The lights were flashing, the siren was sounding, the horn was honking and Sparky was waving from the passenger seat.

It was the first stop as the truck repeated the process at other schools in town so kids still had the experience that students would have gotten in previous years — in at least some way.

The AFD will continue to visit schools throughout the week through Thursday.

Fire Safety Tips

Follow these easy safety tips to ensure your house is safe.

• Make sure to check batteries on both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke detectors usually have a life span of 10 years, carbon monoxide five to six years and those detectors that are a combination of the two about seven years.

• Make sure lighters and matches are kept away from the reach of children.

• If cooking, be present. If you have to move away, shut off the range and burners and move the pot or pan to a cool burner.

For more safety tips and news, visit www.nfpa.org/