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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2011:06:17 01:11:51

Kindergarten students at Riverside Elementary West in Taylor listen as firemen explain what should be done in the event of a fire. PHOTO SHANNON C. KEITH

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2011:06:17 01:12:07

According to the American Red Cross, the biggest disaster facing American families isn’t flooding or hurricanes, it’s fire. As a matter of fact, the Red Cross estimates that every 8 minutes, their organization dispatches a volunteer or team of volunteers to a fire emergency across the country.

Here in northeastern Pennsylvania, representatives from the Red Cross responded to 406 fires in 2012.

“Home fires are a common and deadly threat because they happen so quickly,” said Peter M. Brown, Redd Cross executive CEO. “We urge everyone to become aware of what they should do to prevent a fire in their home.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are almost 365,000 residential fires reported in the U.S. every year. These fires cause more than $6 billion in property loss. More than 2,400 Americans still die every year in home fires.

Prevention of fires and escaping from a fire safety equates to education, especially in the Triboro area.

Members of the Taylor Fire Department presented a fire safety program to kindergarten students at Riverside Elementary West on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Students sat captivated as firefighters donned their gear and demonstrated how to leave a home that may be filled with smoke during the informational safety segment.

The students then had a chance to go outside and learn about certain aspects of the fire truck and equipment that hose company volunteers brought to the school district for the children to explore and learn about during the fire safety lesson.

The Red Cross suggests all Triboro families should consider implementing the following fire safety steps inside their homes:

• Follow the escape plan in case of fire. Get out, stay out, and call 911 or the local emergency number;

• Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms; and

• Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.

• Visit for more steps they can take to lessen the chance of a fire in their our homes.