Residential fires are absolutely devastating. There’s no denying it.
We see the effects all around us. In our schools, in our communities and maybe even just across the street.
My wife is a fifth grade math teacher and I’ve heard her tell stories of students that lost their home and everything they own in a residential fire.
Just this year, a student in her class came in with clothes smelling like smoke, every one of his possessions secured in his bookbag and a sad story to tell.
Sadly, some are not this lucky.
So many times we see stories where a fire cost a family more than just some material possessions. Just this year in Pickens County, a fire in Dacusville cost the lives of two kids.
That’s why education on fire prevention is so important, and the Easley Fire Department is leading by example.
Just this past week, Easley fire hosted its annual open house where folks in the community have the chance to come out and learn a little about safety.
The theme this year was kitchen fires and several demonstrations described to on looking children and parents just what to do in case of a sudden fire.
Proper protocol in such a situation can save lives, but more importantly, living safely can prevent fires all together.
In talking with Easley Fire Chief Butch Womack, he said the most important thing residents can do is pay attention. It’s easy to get distracted and find something else to keep you occupied while you wait for something on the stove to boil or heat up, but Womack says that’s the worst thing you can do.
Coming from someone who has left the oven on overnight, I can tell you personally that it’s not worth the risk to not pay attention.
At Thursday night’s open house, hundreds of local residents got that message. Folks made their way through a long line of giveaway stations where they were able to get educated about various dangers throughout their house.
Many left with carbon monoxide detectors, surge protectors and smoke detectors that could one day help save their house from such a tragedy.
Fires are so dangerous and you never think something like that can happen to you until the moment it does.
Kudos to Easley fire and all the other fire departments in Pickens County who are putting the focus on safety education.
That, in the end, is what will make the difference during a fire.