City of Maryville

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Keep Fire Safety on the Front Burner

By Phil Rickabaugh, Maryville Public Safety Fire Captain


More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and 20,000 are injured. Many of them might be alive today if they would have had and used information they needed to avoid disaster.


Did you know?

  • 82% of all fire deaths occur at home.
  • People over age 65 and children under the age of five are at the greatest risk of death from fire.
  • Deaths due to an inability to escape are particularly preventable.
  • Having a working smoke detector/alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.

 Here are a few simple safety tips, that if followed could dramatically improve the survivability for you and your family in the event of a fire.

  • Make sure you have properly installed/working smoke detectors throughout the house. These should be tested and the battery changed twice yearly. (A good time to service these is at Daylight Savings Time changes. It’s easy to remember: “Change the clock—change the batteries”.)
  • Know your local emergency phone numbers. Our community, as with most, uses 9-1-1.
  • Practice finding your way out of the house with your eyes closed, crawling or staying low and feeling your way out of the house.
  • Never open doors that are hot to the touch.
  • Teach your family to stop, drop to the ground and roll (“stop, drop and roll”) if their clothes catch fire.
  • Designate a meeting place outside and take attendance. Get out and stay out!
  • Remember to escape first, and then notify Public Safety.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two ways to escape from each room in the house.

We hope that you never are in a situation to apply these in a real event, but these tips, if remembered and practiced, can help save your life and the lives of those you love. Be safe!!


Reprinted from the May 2007 Newsletter