Leo Brandmeyer talked to us at Rotary about fire safety. Most of us are quite casual about fire safety and that can have bad results. How often have I turned on the kitchen stove and left the kitchen when the phone rang? How often have we had a lively fire in the fireplace and left the living room for whatever reason. There are many unhealthy habits that should not be allowed because the consequences can be serious. Leo gave us a list of dos and don’ts and useful comments.
The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change batteries every 6 months. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT and call for help. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Keep items that can catch on fire three feet away from anything that gets hot.Never smoke in bed. Talk to your children about dangers of fire. Teach children about fire safety. Turn portable heaters off when you leave a room or go to sleep. Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms; know the difference. Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape. Teach household members to stop, drop and roll if their clothes should catch on fire. Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. Do install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on all levels in your house. Have a portable fire extinguisher available in your house and know how to use it.
I remember a German poem ‘the bell’ by Friedrich Schiller that all we students had to learn. One section of the very long poem talks about fire. Here it is for those of us in this community who speak German:
Wohltätig ist des Feuers Macht, Benevolent is the fire’s might
wenn sie der Mensch bezähmt, bewacht, if watched and tamed by man
Wehe, wenn sie losgelassen, but woe if it is neglected
wachsend ohne Widerstand growing without resistance
durch die volkbelebten Gassen through the streets with people
wälzt den ungeheuren Brand the enormous deadly fire rolls