Fire safety and education aids in prevention
CAMP ZAMA, Japan - Several events were held during Camp Zama's Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 4 to 9 to raise the awareness of fire safety throughout the community on Camp Zama and Sagamihara Family Housing Area.
Shinji Kajita, assistant chief for fire prevention from Camp Zama's Directorate of Emergency Service, said DES kicked off the weeklong prevention campaign Oct. 4, with a meet-and-greet with "Sparky the Fire Dog," at the Camp Zama Main Exchange and SFHA commissary.
This year's fire prevention theme is "Hear the beep where you sleep- every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm!" said Kajita.
A lot of the community members have no idea how to test a smoke alarm, said Kajita.
Adults and children, alike should know that smoke alarms are installed in the homes- if they are, "you need to know how to test them."
Kajita said smoke alarms can be tested by simply pressing a button to see if it is working correctly, and they should be tested monthly.
DES visited the SFHA Child Development Center and John O. Arnn Elementary school Oct. 8 as part of the weeklong educational campaign.
Kajita said it is important for emergency personnel interact with young children because they normally don't have an opportunity to see a fire truck, "Sparky" or firefighters.
"We don't want them to be scared of the firefighters. In case of fire, the firefighters will come to rescue them; so, we don't want the children to panic, but to stay calm and react," said Kajita.
The students watched and counted as the firefighters donned their fire protection gear in a race against time! Along with a meet-and-greet with "Sparky," the students had an opportunity to spray the high-powered fire hose.
"We want the students to feel the water pressure and to understand how tough the firefighters' missions are," said Kajita.
Past experiences on the installation, Kajita remarked, the most common fire incidents happen when people are cooking or overloading a power strip in a house.
"We have a great fire prevention system here on our installation; however, incident do happen... one safe tips," Kajita said, "is to not leave or take your eyes off the fire while cooking, and the same goes for a microwave too."
Kajita said that Fire Prevention Week is held every October, which is also the beginning of fire season; it is held as a reminder to think about fire prevention around this time of the year.