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Chesterfield Fire-EMS reminding families of fire prevention and safety this month

FILE- Last month, Chesterfield fire responded to the home on St. Cecelia Drive where massive...
FILE- Last month, Chesterfield fire responded to the home on St. Cecelia Drive where massive flames enveloped the roof of the home.(Mark Davidson)
Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 1:01 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The Chesterfield Fire and EMS Department are reminding families all over the county to Plan, Practice and Repeat in the event of a house fire as a part of their April Fire Prevention and Safety initiative.

“No one ever expects their home to be vulnerable to a fire threat,” said Chesterfield Fire and EMS Chief Loy Senter. “It’s imperative that all families mitigate fire hazards inside and outside, have working smoke alarms and develop a fire escape plan for their residence. Practice that escape plan and have a safe meeting place once outside.”

This year, Chesterfield Fire and EMS has responded to 65 residential structural fires. That’s up by 41% from this time last year. None have been fatal but according to Senter many of the homes were a total loss.

Cooking fires continue to be the highest cause of house fires. Fire and EMS remind everyone not to leave food that’s cooking unattended.

“It’s always tough to comfort a family that has lost everything they’re worked so hard to build from the ground up,” Senter said. “But we’re always thankful that lives are not lost.”

Chesterfield Fire and EMS are planning two family-friendly social media challenges in honor of Fire Prevention and Safety month:

  • Week of April 11: Participate in a Home Fire Safety Scavenger Hunt – residents can complete four daily tasks from April 11-14 for an opportunity to win a grand prize dinner from Dante’s Pizza delivered to their home by Chesterfield Fire and EMS. Winners will also be chosen each day for a prize pack. Winners will be randomly selected.
  • Week of April 18: Participate in a Home Fire Escape Plan Contest – Mere seconds can make the difference in a fire between a safe escape and a tragedy. Chesterfield families are challenged to create a home fire escape plan. After creating the plan, participants will take a photo of their plan and post it in the comments of their dedicated Facebook post. A winner will be randomly selected to get dinner from Dante’s Pizza deliv­ered to your home by Chesterfield Fire and EMS as well.

Fire and EMS Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Salvatore Luciano Jr. will also be reading to children at select county libraries about the importance of fire safety starting at 10 a.m. on the following days:

  • Thursday, April 7 -- Clover Hill Library | 6701 Deer Run Drive
  • Monday, April 11 – Enon Library | 1801 Enon Church Road
  • Tuesday, April 12 – Ettrick-Matoaca Library | 4501 River Road
  • Friday, April 15 – LaPrade Library | 9000 Hull Street Road
  • Monday, Aprils 18 – North Courthouse Road Library | 325 Courthouse Road
  • Thursday, April 21 – Chester Library | 11800 Centre St.
  • Monday, April 25 – Central Library | 7051 Lucy Corr Blvd.
  • Tuesday, April 26 – Meadowdale Library | 4301 Meadowdale Blvd.

“We want this to be an initiative that the community takes seriously,” Luciano said. “It’s truly going to take all of us to recognize and address the dangers of residential fires in Chesterfield.”

For more information about the April Fire Prevention and Safety initiative and how to participate in the activities, visit the Chesterfield County Facebook page or the Chesterfield Fire and EMS Department Facebook page.

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