Safety tips during Fire Prevention Week

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) -- Flags across the country will be flown at half-staff this week — as President Trump declares this week “Fire Prevention Week.”

This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Two Ways Out.”

That’s why departments like De Pere Fire Rescue will be visiting students throughout the month, stressing the importance of safety.

“We do a little practice exit drill. We have them stop drop and roll if their clothes would catch on fire, and all that other stuff that we learned as children that they can bring home to mom and dad,” says Capt. Brian Thomson, De Pere Fire Rescue.

Fire officials say students age kindergarten through third grade are most receptive to their drills, but are hoping the message spreads further than the classroom.

“One of the things we want them to do with their families, is when they go home, we give them a little bit of homework,” says Capt. Thomson. “One of those homework things is check the batteries in your smoke detectors. The second one is plan an exit drill, find that meeting place for your whole family, talk about it around the kitchen table, and then practice that drill.”

Meanwhile, adults should be double checking any of their appliances that generate heat, to make sure they work properly.

“If you have a wood burning appliance, we want to make sure that that is cleaned and inspected every year before the heating and cooling season happens,” says Capt. Thomson. “Space heaters, anything that generates heat or flame, we want to make sure we have nothing too close to that. We want to make sure that it's running efficiently and effectively the way it's supposed to.”

Fire officials also say now is a good time to make sure all your safety devices are working.

“A good thing to do before the weather gets too cold, is check the date on your carbon monoxide detector, your smoke alarm. Start replacing those while the weather is nice. And just be ready for winter,” Capt. Thomson says.