‘Watch What You Heat’ Presentation on fire safety brings fun to local schools

It’s never too early for children to learn the dangers of fires in the home. So says the Weehawken Fire Prevention Bureau, which traveled to the township’s two schools recently to give presentations on fire prevention and safety to students from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade.

According to North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue Captain David Flood, the chairman of the Weehawken Fire Prevention Bureau, the township’s students were treated to a presentation that included a puppet show and several hands-on safety procedures.

Flood went to the schools, along with fire officials Victor Vangelakos and John Dorman and Public Safety Official Louis Ferullo Jr., to discuss this year’s theme, which was “Watch What You Heat.”

“We stress to them that they’re the most valuable thing in the house,” Flood said. “So in case of a fire, they need to get out and stay out. They should try to call 911 from a neighbor’s house.”

Flood said that this year’s theme focused on kitchens in homes.

“Statistics show that most house fires start in the kitchen,” Flood said. “Even a pot on the stove is considered a source for a house fire. Although these children are too young to even consider cooking, they should know that they should never play near a stove. We tried to stress to stay as far away from the stove as possible. If they stay away from the stove, then there are fewer opportunities for accidents.”

To help with gaining the children’s attention, there was a puppet show, with the characters acting out several safety-related scenes.

“The kids loved the puppet show,” Flood said.

The children were also taught that smoke detectors are like super heroes because they work all the time to protect them.

There were other presentations that the children participated in, such as the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” procedure, which taught the children what to do in case their clothes caught fire.

“We let the children stop, drop and roll themselves, so they know,” Flood said.

In the “Crawl Low Under Smoke” demonstration, the children crawled under a large sheet representing a wall of smoke to learn how to navigate under actual smoke to get to safety.

“While they were learning, they had fun doing it,” Flood said.

All of the pre-k through second grade students in Webster School received free coloring books, fire hats, and badges. The students at Roosevelt School, of grades three and four, received age-appropriate literature, pens, and badges.

Flood said that the Weehawken Fire Prevention Bureau will sponsor a poster contest later in the school year with the “Watch What You Heat” theme.

“I enjoy being with the kids,” Flood said. “The kids love us coming there as well. They treat firemen as heroes and that’s very gratifying. They listen to every word we say.”


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