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Firefighters educate SCANG for Fire Prevention Week

Firefighting equipment used by 169th Civil Engineer Squadron's Fire Department at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., September 16, 2014.  Speed and accuracy of McEntire’s first response team is critical to maintain safety at home and on base.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Firefighting equipment used by 169th Civil Engineer Squadron's Fire Department at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., September 16, 2014. Speed and accuracy of McEntire’s first response team is critical to maintain safety at home and on base. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Richard Kirby, a fire fighter with the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron's Fire Department, performs a training drill on McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., September 16, 2014.  Speed and accuracy of McEntire’s first response team is critical to maintain safety at home and on base.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Richard Kirby, a fire fighter with the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron's Fire Department, performs a training drill on McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., September 16, 2014. Speed and accuracy of McEntire’s first response team is critical to maintain safety at home and on base. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Richard Kirby, a fire fighter with the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron's Fire Department, performs a training drill on McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., September 16, 2014.  Speed and accuracy of McEntire’s first response team is critical to maintain safety at home and on base.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

Richard Kirby, a fire fighter with the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron's Fire Department, performs a training drill on McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., September 16, 2014. Speed and accuracy of McEntire’s first response team is critical to maintain safety at home and on base. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --    The 169th Civil Engineer Squadron's Fire Department at McEntire Joint National Guard Base is gearing up for the 2014 Fire Prevention Week which starts on Oct. 5.
   Firefighters here are conducting personal protection equipment training and educating the SCANG about smoke detectors.
    "The purpose of Fire Prevention Week is to educate the community and make them aware of specific hazards," said Scott Tatum, a firefighter here. "This year's theme is "smoke detectors save lives."
   Smoke detectors are simple devices that provide an early detection warning to alert people to exit a structure before a fire fully engulfs a building.
   The faster a firefighter can suit up in personal protection equipment, the faster they can get to a structure to mitigate the fire, said Richard Kirby, a firefighter here.  Similarly, the smoke detector is an early warning device that can allow families to practice faster escape procedures and exit the building as soon as possible when activated.
    Detectors should be tested monthly and batteries changed annually, said Tatum.  Fire Prevention week is the week to do it.
   "If you don't have a smoke detector, you should contact your local fire department," said Kirby.  "There are some fire departments that will provide and install one smoke detector.  If they can't do it, they should direct you to who can."
   According to the National Fire Protection Association's website, www.firepreventionweeek.org, Fire Prevention Week is observed the week of Oct. 9 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 when fires destroyed 2,000 acres killed 250 people and left thousands homeless.