Observing Fire Prevention Week
Dear Citizens Residing within Clinton Fire’s Jurisdiction, Join us in recognizing “Fire Prevention Week” which is held the second week of October across our nation.
As such, this will be a busy week at Clinton Fire as we visit schools, churches, and other civic organizations to promote fire safety and reinforce our commitment to the safety of our citizens. Because of our commitment to you, we stand ready to promote fire prevention every day of the year.
During the past year, your Clinton Fire Department has been committed to “serving our citizens, enhancing their safety, with compassion, knowledge, and professionalism,” which is the mission statement department membership adopted a year ago.
During the past year, your Clinton Fire has:
Responded to 1,146 calls for service (12% increase from same time last year)
Installed 463 smoke alarms (312 during a two-day smoke alarm blitz)
Performed 16 formal fire education programs for 1,145 attendees, and
Attended more than 9,000 hours of formal 3rd party training hours.
While Clinton Fire increases our community outreach, we need your help to continue growing public safety awareness. In 2018, there were 97 fire deaths reported in South Carolina, two of which were in Laurens County. More than 67 percent of these lives claimed by fire were 50 years of age or older and 78 percent of fire deaths occurred in a home.
These fire deaths were preventable.
How, you may wonder? Allow me to share information regarding smoke alarms, practicing an emergency escape plan, and sleeping with your bedroom door closed.
First, we encourage you to check the smoke alarms in your home. When smoke is present, they provide early alert warnings and save lives. How many do you need? Smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, common areas of the home, and on each level of your home. How often should you check them? Smoke alarms should be checked monthly, batteries replaced semi-annually, and the smoke alarm itself should be replaced every 10 years. The newest smoke alarms being sold contain a 10-year sealed battery!
With that said, our goal at Clinton Fire is to have operating smoke alarms in every home in our fire district. We are happy to also provide a home safety evaluation. If you have a need, please call us at 864-833-7512.
Second, as mentioned, each resident should have an established and practiced emergency escape plan. This plan should identify multiple means of exit (at least two ways out) from your home at every level. There should also be an identified meeting location (i.e. mailbox, tree, etc.). Once all occupants have exited, remember to stay out! Never return into a burning building.
Third, do you to sleep with your bedroom door closed? If not, please make it part of your nightly routine. This small habit can save your life. The National Fire Protection Association created a “Close Before You Doze” campaign. This campaign offers scientifically proven data and illustrations of a closed bedroom door impeding smoke and heat from entering the bedroom. This extra time provides additional time for an occupant to egress the room. Take a moment and view this “Close Before You Doze” campaign video created by Underwriters Laboratory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu5ICj3LwqE
Lastly, I humbly request, if you see our fire apparatus, police, utility, or public works vehicles on the side of the road working an incident scene, please move over and slow down. It is a state law! In 2017, across the nation, 10 firefighters were struck and killed by passing motorist. Just last week, a Lexington County firefighter was struck and killed while assisting at a vehicle accident. I can’t stress this enough - please slow down and move over if you encounter emergency vehicles working in or on the side of a roadway. Help us be safe serving you.
It is an honor for Clinton Fire to serve its citizens. You are the purpose of our existence and, as contained within our mission, we want to be our best for you. Please feel free to contact us by phone or visit us at 404 N. Broad Street. Please be safe and Happy Fire Prevention Week to each of you.
Chief, Clinton Fire