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Columbus Fire and Rescue Department 205 7th Street S. Columbus, MS 39701 (662) 329-5121 Cover photo by Anthony Colom ON THE COVER: CHIEF OF TRAINING DUANE HUGHES / SON DAYLUN, CHIEF KENNETH MOORE, ENGINEER ALAN WALKER / DAUGHTER CLAIRE, AND FIREFIGHTER TRAINEE TERRANCE COLISTER as FIRE PUP This publication may not be reproduced in whole, nor in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright © 2012, Columbus, Mississippi Fire and Rescue Department.

2012 FIRE SAFETY MONTH QUIZ 1) According to an NFPA survey, only 1/3 of Americans have a. smoke alarms and a home escape plan b. developed and practiced a home fire escape plan c. smoke alarms in the bedroom d. an outside meeting place

2) If a fire breaks out in your home you have _____to get out once the smoke alarm sounds? a. 30 minutes b. 20 minutes c. 10 minutes d. a few minutes

3) You should know at least _________ ways out of every room in your home. a. five b. four c. three d. two

4) All smoke alarms should be replaced every ________ a. fifteen years b. ten years c. five years d. one year

5) For the best protection, all smoke alarms should be interconnected. Why? ___________ a. when one sounds, they all sound b. you don't need to change the batteries c. you only need to test one d. you know they are working properly

6) If the smoke alarm sounds, you should do what? __________ a. call the fire department and then leave the home b. get outside and then call the fire department c. remove the battery d. wait for the fire department to arrive

7) If you have to escape through smoke ____________ a. run as fast as you can to your way out b. crawl on your stomach to your way out c. get low and go under the smoke to your way out d. hold your breath and walk slowly through the smoke to your way out

8) A home fire escape drill should be practiced at least how often?__________ a. once a month b. twice a month c. once a year d. twice a year ANSWERS 1.B 2.D 3.D 4.B 5.A 6.B 7.C 8.D

Safe Kids Releases First-of-Its Kind Halloween Research Study Twice As Many Child Pedestrians Are Killed While Walking on Halloween Washington, DC - New Safe Kids research shows only one third of parents talk to their children annually about Halloween safety. To complete this first-of-its kind study on Halloween-safety, Safe Kids commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a poll of 935 parents with children ages 12 and younger to assess their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to Halloween safety. On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year. On this potentially dangerous night of the year for child pedestrians, Safe Kids strongly recommends that parents prepare children to behave safely and for drivers to take extra precautions. While most of the parent participants in the study have talked to their children about Halloween safety at some point, many have not made it an annual conversation. Safe Kids urges parents to engage in repeated discussions with each child, every year to reinforce safety messages and safe behaviors because of the risks they face on Halloween. "Given children's limited attention spans, repeated and consistent messages about safe behaviors are key to preventing injuries," says Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. "By following the basic safety tips provided by Safe Kids, Halloween can be a fun and safe night for children of all ages." According to the study, 40 percent of parents allow their child to use one or more unsafe item on Halloween such as a mask, loosing fitting clothing, and / or a sharp object - any of which could contribute to falls, burns or pedestrian injuries. These are preventable hazards that could be avoided by following Safe Kids' safety tips. Another key finding of this report shows twelve percent of children five years of age or younger are permitted to trick-or-treat alone. Not only should these young children be accompanied by an adult, but it is also recommended by Safe Kids that no child under 12 years of age spend Halloween night navigating the streets unsupervised. This recommendation was made to protect children who often lack the maturity and cognitive ability to make appropriate decisions to accurately judge speeds and distance. "It is alarming to hear that children ages five years and younger are trick-or-treating without adult supervision," added Carr. "If they are old enough and mature enough to trick-or-treat without an adult, parents should make sure children go out in groups and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting." In preparation for Halloween, Safe Kids coalitions across the country will team up with Walk This Way program sponsor FedEx to provide kids with reflective materials to promote visibility, including zipper tags that can be attached to costumes and trickor-treat bags, as well as important safety information to children, parents, and drivers. The Halloween study was made possible through funding provided by FedEx. To ensure a safer celebration of Halloween, Safe Kids and FedEx recommend the following tips to parents and caregivers: Trick-or-Treating Safety: Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, choose light colored costumes that fit properly and avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects. Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded, torn, or unwrapped. What Drivers Need to Know: Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances. Remember that costumes can limit children's visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle. Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, as well as throughout the year, visit and visit our Facebook page at In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities. This year will mark the twelfth yeah anniversary of the program.


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e r i F f o y r o t s i H k e e W n o i t n Preve Commemorating a conflagration Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871. According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow - belonging to Mrs. Catherine O'Leary - kicked over a lamp, setting first the barn, then the whole city on fire. Chances are you've heard some version of this story yourself; people have been blaming the Great Chicago Fire on the cow and Mrs. O'Leary, for more than 130 years. But recent research by Chicago historian Robert Cromie has helped to debunk this version of events. The 'Moo' myth Like any good story, the 'case of the cow' has some truth to it. The great fire almost certainly started near the barn where Mrs. O'Leary kept her five milking cows. But there is no proof that O'Leary was in the barn when the fire broke out - or that a jumpy cow sparked the blaze. Mrs. O'Leary herself swore that she'd been in bed early that night, and that the cows were also tucked in for the evening. But if a cow wasn't to blame for the huge fire, what was? Over the years, journalists and historians have offered plenty of theories. Some blamed the blaze on a couple of neighborhood boys who were near the barn sneaking cigarettes. Others believed that a neighbor of the O'Leary's may have started the fire. Some people have speculated that a fiery meteorite may have fallen to earth on October 8, starting several fires that day - in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Chicago. The biggest blaze that week While the Great Chicago Fire was the best-known blaze to start during this fiery two-day stretch, it wasn't the biggest. That distinction goes to the Peshtigo Fire, the most devastating forest fire in American history. The fire, which also occurred on October 8th, 1871, and roared through Northeast Wisconsin, burning down 16 towns, killing 1,152 people, and scorching 1.2 million acres before it ended. Historical accounts of the fire say that the blaze began when several railroad workers clearing land for tracks unintentionally started a brush fire. Before long, the fast-moving flames were whipping through the area 'like a tornado,' some survivors said. It was the small town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin that suffered the worst damage. Within an hour, the entire town had been destroyed. Eight decades of fire prevention Those who survived the Chicago and Peshtigo fires never forgot what they'd been through; both blazes produced countless tales of bravery and heroism. But the fires also changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety. On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (today known as the International Fire Marshals Association), decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should henceforth be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. The commemoration grew incrementally official over the years. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925.



The kitchen is often one of the busiest and most dangerous places in the home. Young children are at the greatest risk for injury. 65% of all residential fire calls are related to the kitchen. More injuries occur in the kitchen than any other room in your home. Here are some simple safety tips to help keep your kitchen safe: Turn handles inward when using pots and pans on the stove. Place hot dishes on center of table or counter, not close to the edge. Clear toys and other objects away to prevent fall injuries Do no store snack foods above the stove. This may encourage climbing. Do no allow electrical cords to dangle over the edge of counter or table. Keep items that catch fire easily away from stove, toasters and hot plates. Use only appliances which have a laboratory testing label, i.e.; UL or FM. Do not over load electrical outlets. Unplug electrical appliances when not in use. Keep stoves clean and free of grease and oil. When cooking, wear tight fitting clothing or shirts with short sleeves. Do not leave food unattended on the stove. Clean vent filters regularly.

Microwaves Follow cooking directions on food packages. When food is cooked, stir and let sit for a few minutes. This can prevent burns to the lips and mouth. Popcorn can burn easily in a microwave. Follow package directions carefully. Do not cook food in metal containers. It may cause a fire. If a fire starts, close the door and unplug the cord.

Barbecue Grills Every year people using barbecue grills start hundreds of fires. Damage can be extensive. Careless use of barbecues cost you millions of dollar and often, tragically, destroys more than property. The Uniform Fire Code, adopted by the City of Tempe, prohibits grilling on patios and balconies in multi-family complexes. For safety sake, barbecue in designated areas only. In single family residences, move the barbecue grill out from under patio covers. If using charcoal grills do not use gasoline as a starter fuel, use charcoal light fuel only. Do not add more fuel after the coals have already been lit. Most importantly keep children away from the grill to avoid them knocking it over or burning themselves.

In Case of A Fire Many fires that start in the kitchen are caused by overheated grease or oil. Grease fires are put out by smothering the fire; that means not letting air get to the fire. Cover the pan or fryer with a tight fitting lid. Slide the lid over the fire from the side. Turn the appliance off. Do not pour water onto a grease fire, it will make the fire worse. Do not carry the burning pan or fryer to the kitchen sink or outdoors. Grease fires can be put out with a fire extinguisher. Provide a minimum 2A10BC multi-purpose fire extinguisher for your kitchen. Locate the extinguisher in a visible, accessible area. Read the instructions provided on the extinguisher on it proper and safe use. If the fire spreads rapidly, call the fire department at 9-1-1.

Burns, Scalds The most common injury in the kitchen are burns and scalds. To treat a burn: Cool a burn/scald with cool running water. Get medical attention immediately if burn area is charred, red and blistered. Do not put butter, ointments or other types of creams or liquids on the burn. These can cause infections.

2012 FIRE & LIFE SAFETY INSPECTIONS TO BEGIN OCTOBER 1 Inspection of all Columbus Businesses geared toward safety of all citizens


Fire Marshall Todd Weathers has announced that fire and life safety inspections for Columbus will begin October 1, 2012. "Efficient and accurate inspections are the goal this year", said Fire Marshall Weathers. Columbus Fire & Rescue will conduct the inspections of all city businesses during normal business hours under normal circumstances. Past inspections and code violations have created confusion with some area business owners. Fire Marshall Weathers stated "education of the business owner is essential to successful inspections."

Proper fire extinguisher sizes as well as appropriate use of extension cords are some of the more common violations often found during annual inspections. Each business is required, by the Fire Marshal, to have a minimum of one tenpound ABC extinguisher. Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be affixed to structures, extend through walls, ceilings, floors, under doors or floor coverings, nor be subject to environmental damage or physical impact and shall not be used in the place of permanent wiring. In Every disaster there are lessons to be learned and problems that are resolved. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was the

first recorded disaster that enacted the use of fire codes. Fire Prevention Week was instituted and fire education became a primary mission of municipal departments across the country. The result of this fire left 300 Chicagoans dead, 90,000 homeless and claimed property loss of

over $200 million. Schools have never been immune to fire tragedy. Three of great historical interests are Lakeview Grammar School in Collinwood, OH (176 dead), New London Consolidated School in TX (294 dead) and Our Lady of Angels School in Chicago (95 dead).


Each of these fatal fires led to improvements which benefit schoolchildren today. Exit drills are mandatory; construction is in accordance to code, more school inspections and greater emphasis on installed fire protection, alarms and first aid firefighting equipment. Code compliance and annual inspections are mandatory for business owners, but what can you do at your home? "One inexpensive item every home should have is a smoke alarm", said Carole Summerall, Safety Educator for Columbus Fire & Rescue. Smoke alarms often cost between $5 and $20, but more importantly, they can double your chance of surviving a house fire. "Another thing that is beneficial to all emergency agencies is to have your address posted on your home. It should be visible from the road and is recommended to be at least four inch numbers." Columbus Fire & Rescue observes Fire Prevention week for the entire month of October. We will be in all city schools and daycares. When your child comes home with fire prevention homework, please take the time to check your smoke alarm, go over a home fire drill and have an escape plan that everyone in the household knows. You and your family's safety is in your hands.

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SLEEPOVERCHECKLIST A checklist to help parents and caregivers consider hazards and make decisions about slumber parties and sleepovers. "Before you permit your child to sleep over with a friend, talk to the child's parents," says Judy Comoletti, NFPA´s Division Manager for Public Education. "Depending on what you learn, it can either uncover serious fire dangers or give you peace of mind during your child's sleepover."

Before you say "yes" How well do you know the home? Is the home clean? Does it appear to be structurally sound? Is the home in a safe area? If the home has security bars on doors and windows, do you know for certain that the bars have quick release devices inside, so your child could get out in an emergency? Is your child comfortable in the home and with all the occupants? Are you comfortable leaving your child in the home overnight?

How well do you know the parent(s)? Are they mature, responsible and conscientious? Will they supervise the children throughout the stay? Are they cautious with smoking materials, matches and lighters, and candles?

Ask the parents Are there working smoke alarms on every level, inside and outside each sleeping area? Are the alarms interconnected? Do they have a well-rehearsed fire escape plan that includes two ways out and a meeting place outside? Where will your child be sleeping? Is there a smoke alarm in the room? Are there two escape routes from the room? Will the parents walk through their escape plan with your child? Do the parents prohibit bedroom candle use by children? SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES


History of Dalmatians in the Fire Service


How did a white polka-dotted dog, known as a Dalmatian, come to be associated with firefighting and turn out to be the most recognized symbol of the fire service? Dalmatians have been around for about 600 years. So, to understand how the Dalmatian became the number-one firehouse mascot in England and the United States, we must take a long look back in history.

The dog's origins are unknown. However, Dalmatians appear in an Italian wall painting dated about 1360 A.D. and in 1780 the name "Dalmatian" was used in the English language. Weighing 25 to 55 pounds and standing 19 to 23 inches high, the Dalmatian was the perfect size to serve as a coach dog. In Great Britain, Dalmatians are still nicknamed "English coach dogs" and "plum pudding dogs." The Dalmatian is a very physical breed, with a strong, muscular body, and able to run great distances without tiring.

The Dalmatian also has what seems to be a natural calming effect on horses. This trait about the breed was seen very early on, and soon the Dalmatian was identified with horses. During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries when the mode of travel was by horse or by carriage, the Dalmatian became a society dog, and trained to run alongside women's carriages. They became known as Coach dogs or Ladies dogs because of this. In fact, the term coaching is referring to how the Dalmatian will take up position just off the side and towards the rear of a horse and run with them. In the 1700's, Dalmatians were used to protect horses that pulled English stagecoaches. Typically two Dalmatians would run next to the horses as they pulled the coach. When other dogs tried to run out and scare the horses, the Dalmatian team would chase them away. Over the years, Dalmatians formed a close bond with horses. During this time, horse theft was very common. Because of the potential for theft, stagecoach drivers would typically sleep in a hammock strung between two stalls where they would watch for thieves. However, because of the bond between the Dalmatians and the horses, the driver could sleep in a hotel or house if he owned a Dalmatian. Why? Because the Dalmatians would sleep with the horses and guard against horse theft.

It was during the era of horse drawn fire apparatus that the Dalmatian became forever tied to the Fire Service. These firehouse horses were required to spend hours at a time at a fire scene, or hours inside the firehouse waiting for a call, and despite many misbeliefs, these firehouse horses were not broken down old hags, but fine spirited horses. The Dalmatian became the horses' pet, as it were, to help keep them calm. There are many reports and stories of seeing a fire team rushing to the scene of a call, with a Dalmatian or two running between the horse teams. Once on the scene of the call, the Dalmatian took over as guard dog, insuring that nothing was stolen from the apparatus. The Dalmatian is a very loyal breed to its owners, and an admirable foe when challenged. Because of the dog/horse bond, the Dalmatian easily adapted to the firehouse in the days of horsedrawn fire wagons.

Since every firehouse had a set of fast horses to pull the pumper, it became common for each group of firefighters to keep a Dalmatian in the firehouse to guard the firehouse and horses. When the alarm came in, the Dalmatian led the way for the horse-drawn pumper. In this way, the Dalmatian became the firefighters' companion and a symbol of the fire service. Today, Dalmatians are still found in many firehouses in England, Canada, and the United States. Because of this loyalty, the Dalmatian continued in the Fire Service. Today, in many large cities, the Dalmatian is the guard dog of the fire truck while at the scene of fires and rescues. In its long history in the Fire Service, there are also reports of how the Dalmatian has rescued trapped firefighters or victims. Overall, the Dalmatian is a brave and valiant dog. The Dalmatian is still the number one symbol of the fire service next to the bells on fire trucks. It is by far the subject of the most frequently asked question, "Do you have a fire dog?", of children when they visit at stations or when firefighters are seen in public. What a memorable sight to see is a Dalmatian on or around fire trucks and what a tradition it is in the fire service.




Columbus Fire and Rescue Magazine  

Columbus Fire and Rescue's Fire Safety Month issue

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