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2009-10-15 digital edition

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2009-10-15 / General Stories

First Hand Experience with Fire Safety

Lexington Fire Chief Donnie Milburn helps the children as they exit the "burning" trailer. Lexington Fire Chief Donnie Milburn helps the children as they exit the "burning" trailer. The Fire Safety House, a 41-foot mobile travel trailer that is a functional house, visited Lexington Elementary School last Thursday, October 8, 2009. Donald Boriak, an investigator for the State Fire Marshal's office and a member of the Fedor Volunteer Fire Department, was instrumental in bringing the Fire Safety House to Lexington. Lexington Fire Chief Donnie Milburn said it was the first time the trailer had been brought to Lexington in at least ten years.

Nearly 5,000 Americans die in house fires each year. Many of these fire victims are children. Children (and adults) often do not know how to react when fire breaks out in a home. These grim statistics show the need to increase our fire awareness. The Texas State Fire Marshal's Fire Safety House teaches children how to get out of a burning house safely.

Each year, approximately 25,000 Texas school-age children get the opportunity to enter the Fire Safety House and experience a home fire escape demonstration and receive invaluable fire prevention and safety information.

These students were waiting their turn to get in the Fire Safety House. These students were waiting their turn to get in the Fire Safety House. Students walked through the house's kitchen, living room, and bedroom, locating potential fire hazards. They also were able to practice simple methods of eliminating potentially dangerous situations. They touched and felt a "hot door" and located an emergency escape route. At the conclusion of the tour, the children exited via an escape ladder as the safety house filled with non-toxic theatre smoke. All of the activities were conducted under the supervision of local fire officials and school staff.

The Fire Safety House is a very effective tool for teaching children kitchen safety, exit drills and proper safety procedures in the event of a fire. The mobile Fire Safety House has traveled to schools throughout the state.

A Deputy State Fire Marshall operated the theatrical smoke machine and briefly spoke to the children about the trailer and fire safety. He also showed them a brief video on fire safety.

State Fire Marshal's Office Investigator Donald Boriak (far right) visits with the children after they experienced the Fire Safety House. He explained that part of every family's fire safety plan should be citing a location where everyone will meet in the event they have to evacuate a burning home. A mailbox was put outside the Fire Safety House as an example of a meeting place. State Fire Marshal's Office Investigator Donald Boriak (far right) visits with the children after they experienced the Fire Safety House. He explained that part of every family's fire safety plan should be citing a location where everyone will meet in the event they have to evacuate a burning home. A mailbox was put outside the Fire Safety House as an example of a meeting place. Members of the Fedor and Lexington Volunteer Fire Departments were on hand to assist the Deputy State Fire Marshall in teaching the children many lifesaving lessons.

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