Fire chief reminds kids, parents to be safe on snow days

Fire chief reminds kids, parents to be safe on snow days

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Often, when kids are out of school, parents still have to work.

With the chance of kids being out multiple days again this week, one Region 8 fire department is reminding parents and their kids to be safe while they're home alone.

For students, it's a day out of the classroom. For firefighters, a snow day can turn busy in an instant.

"We've ran, in the past two weeks, we've ran probably twice the number of structure fires that we normally do in that same period of time," Paragould Fire Chief Kevin Lang told Region 8 News.

Chief Lang said they've seen everything from water running into an alarm system and setting it off to problems with heaters or electrical issues.

Lang said they've also responded to calls about kids being kids while left home alone on snow days.

"We had one catch a book on fire, it scared them, they just threw it in the floor and went in the other room and didn't tell anybody," Lang said. "It's not that they're doing anything to be mean or to be vicious, it's just...they're being a kid."

Lang said over the years, they've responded to incidents involving space heaters as well.

"Kids were messing around, they were playing, they stuck a piece of paper in there, caught it on fire and then threw it on the bed," he explained.

Lang said in both of those incidents, no one was injured.

However, he said that it's more common for a child to catch something on fire while making food or heating the home.

"It's not gonna come second nature to them like it would an adult to think about hey, I probably shouldn't put that space heater there or I probably shouldn't set that on top of that," Lang said.

Lang told Region 8 News the main goal is to avoid tragedy.

"It wouldn't hurt my feelings if we never have another fire, if we never had to roll and put one out," he said. "That's not gonna happen. Accidents are gonna occur, they're gonna happen but something that's preventable...that's what we're trying to stop."

Lang said make sure your kids know not to use an extension cord with a space heater and to keep a three foot area around the space heater clear.

If possible, Lang advises having food on hand that doesn't require using an oven or a stove.

Above all, Lang said to make sure your kids know to call 911 in case of an emergency.

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