COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Columbia-Richland Fire Department held their annual Fire Prevention Parade on Saturday.
Multiple fire trucks and other emergency vehicles rolled through the Greenview Community and stopped at Greenview Park for the family-friendly celebration that followed.
The theme this year was "not every hero wears a cape," and it means, each individual could be their own hero by taking a few extra precautions to keep themselves safe.
Bessie Geiger and her granddaughter were among the crowd.
After experiencing the danger of a home fire firsthand, she said she wanted to do her part to make sure it never happened again.
"There was an instance where I had a pot on the stove and forgot that I left it on the stove and went back, in the back of the room and when I cam back the whole kitchen-area was inflamed and... I was panicked," she said. "At that moment you know, you just, you're flustered. You don't know exactly what you need to do or what you should do."
Preparation could be life saving in the event of a home fire. So, after this year's parade, leaders held a celebration with food, games and plenty of fire safety information to help keep locals safe.
Installing smoke alarms, testing them and creating an emergency plan were key takeaways for Geiger.
"I'm more aware of the purpose and the very need," she said. "... listening to them, I was thinking, you know, I need to add some (smoke alarms) to my home; I need to add more and make sure that they are working and in working order."
Although this event marks the end of Fire Prevention Week, organizers hope that people will continue to be their own hero by practicing fire safety.
Before a fire strikes, here are a few tips from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division that you can use:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your residence.
- Place smoke alarms outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall (4 to 12 inches from ceiling), at the top of open stairways, or at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen.
- Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year.
- Review escape routes with your family and where to meet outside of the house. Practice escaping from each room in the house.
- Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level.
- Teach family members to stay low on the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.
- Store flammable liquids in approved containers in well-ventilated storage areas. Do not smoke near flammable liquids.
- Sleep with your door closed.
- Install fire A-B-C type fire extinguishers in your residence and teach family members how to use them.
You can find more tips at SCEMD.org