Candles focus of safety week
By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
The Brewton Fire Department is advising residents to use candles with care and when you go out, blow out your candles.
Each October, the National Fire Protection Association and fire departments observe Fire Prevention week, which begins today and ends Oct. 15.
According to 2005 statistics, candle fires are one of the few types of house fires that have increased dramatically over the past decade - they have actually tripled. Two out of five house fires begin in bedrooms.
Beginning next week, Brewton Fire Chief Lawrence Weaver advises residents to tune into Channel 6 and watch a docudrama titled ”Fire's Fury.“ The docudrama will be aired on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
According to Weaver, the docudrama is a personal account of one family's close call with a fire. Interviews with family members while they move into their new house reveal details of the frightening experience that starts when the teenage daughter leaves a candle burning in her bedroom.
As the story unfolds, a dramatic onscreen fire recreation provides an eye-opening look at how rapidly smoke and flames can spread, reaching life-threatening proportions in just seconds.
In 2001, burning candles started approximately 18,000 house fires, which resulted in 190 deaths, 1,450 injuries and a property loss value at approximately $265 million.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Wal-Mart parking lot, the Brewton Fire Department will hold a smokehouse demonstration.
Weaver said that firemen will fill the smokehouse with synthetic smoke and will place individuals inside the home. The purpose is to teach kids and adults how to escape a smoke-filled home. Individuals will also be able to meet the firemen and have their blood pressure checked.
Weaver is encouraging residents to check their smoke alarms.
According to statistics provided by the National Fire Protection Association, properly installed smoke alarms increase chances of survival in a house fire by 50 percent.
The fire department has been replacing smoke alarms in homes for about six years, Weaver said.