SUNNYSIDE — It’s long been a tradition during National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5-12, for Sunnyside School District second graders to begin learning how to get out of their homes in case of a fire.

Fire Capt. Tony Castillo, with the aid of the EDITH (Exit Drills in the Home) trailer, visits the district’s elementary schools giving the students opportunities to learn such drills as “Stop, Drop and Roll,” and how to creates a fire escape plan.

“We’re out every school day during the month of October promoting fire safety,” Castillo, who has conducted the fire safety drills for the past 15 years.

“We also conduct outreach to the Grandview School District, as well as the area preschools,” Castillo added.

He suggested that a home fire escape plan should include the following:

  • Draw a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows;
  • Make sure someone will help children, older adults, and people with disabilities wake up and get out;
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them;
  • Establish a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting;
  • Have properly installed and maintained smoke alarms
  • Home fire escape practice should include the following:
  • Push the smoke alarm button to start the drill;
  • Practice what to do in case there is smoke: Get low and go. Get out fast;
  • Practice using different ways out and closing doors behind you as you leave;
  • Going to your outdoor meeting place; and
  • Calling 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.

In addition to the school outreach programs, SFD reminds residents to change the batteries in their fire detectors in the home in the fall.

“We also recommend checking the batteries again in the spring,” Fire Chief Ken Anderson urged.

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at jhart@sunnysidesun.com

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