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Bangor public education officer gives fire prevention tips

Jason Johnson says smoke detectors are the best place to start.
Bangor Fire Department
Bangor Fire Department(WABI)
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 3:49 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - In light of this weeks fires, officials are reminding people about ways to keep you and your family safe.

We all know the steps if you ever find yourself on fire.

Stop, drop, and roll.

But what about steps to take to prevent the fire all together?

“Common sense really,” said Jason Johnson, the public education officer with the Bangor Fire Department.

Johnson says smoke detectors are the best place to start.

He says you should check them regularly and change the batteries at least twice a year.

“I cannot emphasize that enough that so many of the fire fatalities that you hear about, not all of them, but the vast majority are in homes that don’t have working smoke detectors,” said Johnson.

Johnson also says it’s important to have a family escape plan with two ways out and a meeting place.

“It’s great to have working smoke detectors but if you don’t have an escape plan and practice and talk to your family about that, it’s like having a great looking car with no engine - it’s not going to get you anywhere,” said Johnson.

He says the pandemic has made it difficult to get into schools and talk to kids about fire safety.

“So we haven’t been doing as much public education as we’d like to do so it’s up to the parents to really try to reinforce some of those messages,” said Johnson.

During the colder months it’s a good idea to check on your chimneys and stoves.

And Johnson recommends checking in with your local fire department if you ever have a question.

“Our philosophy is we’d rather do an installation inspection at two in the afternoon when it’s nice and sunny out versus at two in the morning when it’s snowing and sleeting out and then we’re having to deal with a chimney fire,” said Johnson.

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