Chris Anderson of the Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal visited Ascension Council on Aging senior centers in Donaldsonville and Gonzales and spoke to seniors about the importance of fire prevention and having smoke alarms in their homes. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning has created the Fire & Life Safety Task Force and also a Smoke Detector Program because he is stressing the importance of the use of fire safety and smoke alarms in the home, and they do save lives! Browning is offering free fire alarms (smoke detectors) to Louisiana residents who do not have them installed in their homes. Call your local fire department and sign up for this program and they will schedule your fire alarm to be installed as soon as possible.

There are eight easy ways to prevent fires and make your family and home safe from fire:

1. Smokers, use large, deep ash trays and wet cigarette butts when you are done. (Stop Smoking)

2. Give space heaters “space” – keep them at least three feet from anything that can burn.

3. Be kitchen wise – Wear tight fitting or rolled up sleeves when cooking. Use oven mitts to handle hot pans. NEVER LEAVE COOKING UNATTENDED.

4. Stop, Drop, and Roll – If your clothes catch on fire.

5. SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES! Get them installed!

6. Plan and practice your escape route if there is a fire - know two ways out of every room in your home.

7. Know your local emergency number- 9-1-1 and/or local fire department.

8. Plan your escape around your abilities, have a telephone in your bedroom and post the local emergency number nearby in case you are disabled and are trapped by fire. Follow these 8 easy steps and call your local fire department to get your smoke detector installed today!