Fire Chief MacDonald talks safety in the summer months

Logan Ridenour
Donaldsonville Fire Chief James MacDonald

With the summer months upon us, it may be tempting to kick back and relax, with not a care in the world.

But before hitting relaxation mode, you will want to do a quick risk assessment on any activity you are participating in. If this activity poses a potential risk for fire or other safety concerns, it is typically best that we remain proactive - rather than reactive - as a way to protect ourselves and those around us.

The safety information surrounding these circumstances may feel overwhelming at times. However, Fire Chief James MacDonald with the City of Donaldsonville Fire Department urges you to continue seeking knowledge in order to stay safe, and make the most informed decisions regarding your home and family.

He says there is an abundance of resources available. It's just a matter of knowing where to look, and that "the internet is really changing the way the message gets out there."

Websites such as the State Fire Marshal Public Safety Services and the National Fire Protection Association provide easy access to Public Education services that address topics ranging from preventative measures to children's educational videos.

For example, MacDonald says that the children's safety videos on that once came at a price, are now free to access for the public, making it easier for educators and parents to explain fire safety at a grade appropriate level.

Another free service to the residents of Louisiana involves smoke detectors. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2009 and 2013, "three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms."

Concerns such as this are what contribute to the need for programs such as Operation Save-A-Life, where you can apply for a free smoke alarm and installation through your local fire department. The application can be found on the State Fire Marshal Public Safety Services site.

These small steps to increase your awareness of community programs and safety can be the difference between life or death. So before you heat up the grill, warm-up your knowledge on safety through the many resources available.