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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Fire Prevention 24-7 – Summer safety tips for all year


Summer Safety Town has come to a close. The Safety Town Summer Program is a week-long program for children entering kindergarten or 1st grade. Throughout the week, stories, games, songs and videos reinforce the skills being taught. By using a hands-on approach, children absorb important information and have fun at the same time. The Naperville Police and Fire Departments, Naperville Electric, Animal Control, Paddle Bear Swim School, and other community groups help teach safety awareness and prevention.

This summer brought nearly 1,000 kids to Safety Town. On Thursdays, while the kids are learning about fire safety, I keep the parents in the classroom for a home fire safety presentation. We discuss everything from how the address should be displayed on your house, to electrical safety and everything in between.

One topic we spent some time on was dryer and dishwasher safety. My recommendation is to never run those two appliances unless you are awake, alert and around. This caused many raised eyebrows and weird looks in my direction. Lint is one of the most flammable things in your house! If something goes wrong, I want you to be around to recognize it and call 911.

Another item we spent some extra time on was bedroom doors. Do you close your door at night? How about your children? Everyone should be sleeping with their doors closed. Ask yourself this: would you ever go to bed with your refrigerator door open? My guess is no. Fires spread faster in today’s homes due to all the synthetic materials and open floor plans. However, there is an easy step you can take every night to get ahead of a fire —closing the bedroom door. It gives you extra time! I do know that there are many children that are afraid to shut the door. My suggestion would be to leave the door open when you say goodnight, and then when you go to bed a few hours later, you can quietly shut the door.

Finally, I also suggest that if you go on vacation or leave town for a long weekend, that you shut every door in your home. If there is a fire while you are away, the closed door will help keep the smoke and heat contained.

These are just three of many tips to keep your home safe. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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Soraya McLaughlin
Soraya McLaughlin
Soraya McLaughlin is the Naperville Fire Department Community Education Specialist. Contact her via email at mclaughlins@naperville.il.us.

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