Fire Prevention Week

Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware – fire can happen anywhere.

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – It’s Fire Prevention Week across the country, and this year’s theme reminds people that fires can start anywhere: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware – fire can happen anywhere.” Look for places fire can start, listen for the sound of the smoke alarm and learn two ways out of each room.

The fire department at Ellsworth Air Force Base used a weekend parade to help with the safety reminder. At the end, children were invited to see fire trucks up close and learn good fire safety habits.

Staff Sgt. Jordan Lapoint, Ellsworth’s fire protection crew chief, says that “most of the time, fire happens when people are sleeping, and the bedrooms are separated – parents and children. So, if we can really teach kids and engage them about fire prevention safety … and ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ and how to escape safely, that’ll decrease the likelihood of them getting injured.”

Could you escape from a burning building in 2 minutes? Take this fire escape quiz

Firefighters work to put out a maintenance shop blaze in Black Hawk, South Dakota on Feb. 10, 2018

State Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says families should hold fire drills in their homes at least twice a year – once during the day and once at night.

Another emphasis during Fire Prevention Week is the use of smoke alarms.

“We have seen too many house fires where there were no smoke alarms present, or the alarms in the homes were not properly working,” Merriman says. “Smoke alarms can help save lives. But they do no good when not properly maintained.”

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.
  • Call the fire department from outside the home.

For more on this year’s theme, go to

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