BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison Fire Department, in conjunction with Thomas Klann State Farm, got to experience a smoke-filled room and how to best protect and escape a dangerous fire situation.
The mobile-home style trailer was parked on the northwest slab of the Fort Madison Middle School and classes of students were able to go through the demonstration on Friday morning.
Jess Steenberg, with Klann’s office, organized the event and has done so for the past several years. She said the students enjoy the experience, but it’s also informative and provides safety instructions on how to escape a smoke-filled home.
“We just do it to make sure the kids know the safety plan,” Steenberg said. “If we can help one kid, it’s a job well done.”
She said State Farm and the Fort Madison Fire Department have been part of bringing the fire safety house each year to Fort Madison students. But this year it’s a new unit that has been upgraded with additional features.
“We have it every year. We started in 2012 with Richardson and Lincoln and decided to move it to the middle school level,” she said. “Last year we didn’t do it because we were getting a brand new fire safety house, but every October we do this.”
She said the kids get very excited about going into the smoke room, but there is other safety instruction going on such as detecting secondary exits and identifying hot-spots in homes.
“We teach Get low, Stay low and we talk about secondary exits,” Steenberg said. “The bedroom is simulated hot so we have them go down the ladder and get to their safe meeting place outside the house. But they love the smoke room. That’s probably the room they are most excited about.”