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Fire Prevention Week events slated in county

October 08, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

The rest of the country is observing National Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 6-12, but to Hagerstown Fire Department and Children's Village personnel, every week is fire prevention week.

"This year's theme is 'Team Up For Safety' and truly that's what we do every day as we teach fire prevention to the children of Washington County," said Mike Weller, fire educator with the Hagerstown Fire Department.

During the week, there will be a number of special events, beginning Saturday at Wal-Mart in the Centre at Hagerstown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Fire Safety House, a Safe Kids display and fire engines and ambulances will be on hand for safety day.

Then on Sunday a fire safety talk and demonstration will be part of the annual fun day at the Hagerstown Church of the Brethren from 2 to 4 p.m.

A large part of the year-round curriculum at Children's Village on Mount Aetna Road is fire safety.

"We have homework assignments for the children and their parents to do together during their time here," Weller said.

A family escape plan, smoke detector installations and safe cooking practices are taught during the Children's Village two-day curriculum, which has been provided to all public and private elementary school students in Washington County since 1990.

"We reach out to about 2,000 families a year with our fire safety program," Weller said.

Rochelle Morrell, director of development at Children's Village, said that in the past two months she has had calls about children who have done something to help save family members.

"We learned that these children used skills we taught them at Children's Village to prevent a tragedy," Morrell said.

Both Weller and Morrell said the message is that smoke alarms must be properly located in the home and that fresh batteries must be kept in smoke detectors or they are no good in an emergency.

"Every summer we canvass neighborhoods to make sure smoke detectors are present and working," Weller said. "I am always amazed at the number of homes that don't have working smoke detectors."

For more information on Fire Prevention Week or to have a home fire safety check in Hagerstown, call 301-790-2476. To learn more about Children's Village, call 301-733-4443.

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