UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am
The Waco Fire Department responded to more than 9,000 emergencies last year. They partner with schools to provide fire safety education to children to reduce those numbers. In addition to the traditional lecture and fire truck showing, they are using technology to put people in fire simulations.
Fire Safety Specialist, Jeff Wilhelm, says getting out there and feeling what it's like in a real fire is key to in understanding what to do if it ever happens to you. Wilhelm explains, "you can tell someone how to do it, but until they do it, they just don't really understand. That's what we are doing now-- making sure that they really understand."
The fire department has different techniques to simulate an emergency situation. They have a fire safety house that pumps artificial smoke into a trailer, has doors that become warm to the touch and a fake fire. Children are taught to crawl on their hands and knees and follow an exit drill to get out of the trailer. They also have a junior fire inspector stage where children learn about fire safety tips in the home. For the younger children, they still show off the fire trucks and sirens. Wilhelm says he expects the new technology to make a big impact on the number of fires and fire fatalities. He also says to remember to stop, drop, cover your face and roll if you're on fire and to check household fire alarms often.
You can see all these safety features and more at Lowe's this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To learn more safety tips, and to see where the fire department will be demonstrating next, click here .