October is Fire Prevention Month. Actually, Oct. 8 to 14 is National Fire Prevention Week, but many fire departments across the country stretch it out to the whole month in order to do more educating on the dangers of fire.

Of course, this is one of those titles that should be in name only. Learning about fire and how to prevent it is a yearlong, lifelong, endeavor we should all undertake.

The huge fire at the car lot Wednesday hurt no one except for a couple minor firefighter injuries. But we never know when an inferno will hurt us or our loved ones, engulf our houses and destroy in minutes all we’ve worked for and all our memories.

In the first quarter of 2006, 33 people died in fire-related incidents in Indiana. That’s about half of the total in 2004 of 65. In 2005, 71 deaths occurred. If people don’t take precautions and learn about the causes of fire, and how to escape, anyone can become a statistic.

Especially vulnerable are children. This year the Anderson Fire Department has changed the look of the stickers that will show firefighters where a child’s room is located. Last year, the stickers were orange and silver. This year they are smaller and gray, a subtle shift. How can we be subtle when a fire is raging, you might ask.

Some of it has to do with privacy, according to Becky Bathauer, captain of the AFD’s Fire Safety Education. The old sticker too easily identified children’s quarters. The new one is meant to be located at the bottom of the door so firefighters can see it as they crawl through burning houses.

Bathauer spends a lot of time teaching children and adults how to prevent fires and what to do when a house is engulfed in a fire. Those classes will increase in October to spread the word.

We hope everyone in Madison County takes advantages of their local fire department’s efforts to educate about fires during Fire Prevention Month. It’s a cliché, but the life you save could very well be your own or one of your loved ones.

Find a fire prevention and safety class and attend. Tell your children what they need to do. Be safe.

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