Fire prevention week underway

By Nikki Blankenship -

It is National Fire Prevention Week, and the Portsmouth Fire Department is doing their part to encourage fire safety.

This year’s theme for the week is “Every Second Counts; Plan Two Ways Out,” encouraging families to to plan two ways out of the house/building in case of a fire.

Fire Prevention Officer Jared Canter explained that the fire department will be spending the week conducting fire prevention/fire safety activities with students at area schools. He added that the fire fighters working out in the schools have various activities that are age appropriate and will help students to remember life saving advice should tragedy strike. In the event of a fire, students are given such advice as crawling along the floor below the smoke, feeling for hot doors before going into another room and practicing escape routes. They also learn tips that they can take home to share with their families such as checking smoke alarms and routinely changing smoke alarm batteries.

“Always make sure you have a smoke alarm that works,” Canter stressed.

Canter added that in coordination with the 2017 Fire Prevention Week theme, students across the region are competing in a fire poster contest, reminding others to plan two fire escape routes. Two winners will be chosen from each grade. One student from the county will then be recommended to advance to the state level. The State winner’s poster will then be used in materials for next year.

“We’ll be going to Portsmouth, Portsmouth East, East Academy and the STEM Academy,” Canter stated.

Fire Prevention Week lasts from Oct. 8 until Oct. 14. The National Fire Protection Association has various activities that families can do at home to reinforce the life saving advice local fire fighters are sharing in schools. Such activities range from grids to help families plan escape routes, coloring sheets and mini-lessons. The National Fire Protection Association recommends practicing fire drills at home at least twice a week, teaching children how to escape a fire on their own in case there are no adults to help them, making sure addresses are clearly marked so that fire fighters can find the home quickly, close doors to help slow fires and to remain outside after escaping a fire.

Fire prevention/safety activities and tips can be accessed at

By Nikki Blankenship

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.