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‘Jaws of Life,’ live fire demos slated in Lahaina

By Staff | Oct 15, 2009

Mayor Charmaine Tavares and Fire Chief Jeffrey Murray pose with Smokey Bear and Sparky Dog in the kickoff for Fire Prevention Week 2009. Photo by the County of Maui.

WAILUKU — The Fire Prevention Bureau of the county Department of Fire and Public Safety will hold activities in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week 2009: “Stay Fire

Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”

Part of a national observance, this year’s theme focuses on preventing burn injuries.

Free and open to the public, a Fire Prevention Week demonstration will be held Thursday, Oct. 22, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Lahaina Recreation field by Lahaina Aquatics Center.

Tools and equipment used by fire personnel will be displayed, followed by demonstrations of firefighters rappelling, cutting into vehicles using the “Jaws of Life” and putting out fires.

Air-1, the helicopter used by the Fire Department, will fly in for a visit, and Sparky Dog and Smokey Bear will make appearances.

Last year’s demonstrations were attended by more than 600 children and their teachers and parents.

Schools are encouraged to attend; register with Maui Fire Department by calling Kapono Stupplebeen at 244-9161, extension 28.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares encourages families to take the safety messages to heart.

“Fire is a serious public safety concern, and the county’s first-responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of fires through prevention and education,” she said.

“Since homes are the locations where people are at greatest risk of burn injuries, adults and children who have learned fire safety tips and practiced a home fire escape plan are more likely to prevent injuries and survive a fire. While this year’s theme highlights actions we can take to stay safe, these precautions need to be practiced year-round.”

Other important safety tips include:

Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges, so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.

Have a three-foot “Kid-Free” zone around the stove.

Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.

Be careful when using devices that get hot, such as curling irons, ovens, irons and lamps.

Install tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent a child from sticking an object in an outlet.

Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, space heater, lit fireplace or hot appliances.

Wear short sleeve or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.

Set your hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees.

And Install anti-scald valves on shower heads and faucets.

Whether caused by flames, hot water, steam or electricity, burns cause painful skin damage, and in the worst cases can be fatal. A burn lasts a lifetime, and severely burned skin cannot be repaired by plastic surgery.

For more information, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.