Montevallo focuses on fall fire safety

By KATIE HURST/ Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO — Montevallo firefighters will be seen out and about in the community this week, educating the public on fire safety during National Fire Prevention Week.

Montevallo Fire Marshall Mike Reid said the department kicked off the week with their annual Fire Prevention Parade Oct. 2 and will continue their efforts through speaking engagements.

Fire Prevention Week is an important time to bring fire safety to the forefront, he said.

“We’re getting ready for the winter so educating folks this time of year is important because fires increase in the winter, many times due to accidents from people trying to stay warm,” Reid said. “Hopefully this week will set the tone for us to have a good winter.”

The department will make appearances at Montevallo Elementary, Montevallo Middle School and several local churches and daycares. Reid said firefighters will speak on fire safety tips, with a special emphasis on smoke detectors this year.

“Just because you have a smoke detector in your home doesn’t mean it works,” he said. “New homeowners will see a detector in their home but never test it. We encourage everyone to test them and change the batteries twice a year. Every time you change your clock, change your smoke detector batteries.”

This time of year is also a good opportunity to create and practice home fire escape plans, Reid said. Many families have talked about what they would do in a fire, but few actually practice their drill, he said.

“Unless people actually do them and practice them, it’s hard to do it for the first time when it’s the real incident,” Reid said. “Do it at night when it’s dark in the house. It’s especially important for kids. Kids are going to do what they’ve practiced.”

Reid said by focusing on fire prevention in the fall, the department hopes more families will be prepared if an emergency occurs in the winter.

“It’s been proven that communities that have more fire prevention education have less fire deaths,” he said. “The more people that we educate and make aware of the dangers of fire, the safer we’re going to be.”