FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. — Lead Fire and Life Safety Educator Amanda Jones, with the Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, presented a new Fire and Life Safety House that will be stationed in Fannin County. Fannin County Fire Chief Larry Thomas also attended the walkthrough, where Jones shared the features of the safety house and her goals for the program.
The safety house is divided into three rooms. The first includes a seating area for students, a television, and a kitchen area. The television will play videos from the Weather Channel, teaching students about what to do in different weather scenarios. “It’s proven that if kids do things repeatedly, and they know what’s going to happen, they’re not as scared in the case of an accident or an incident,” Jones said. The kitchen area allows the instructor to go over kitchen and cooking safety, including how to respond to a grease fire. Jones also shared that a microwave component will enable instructors to teach about the proper usage.
A second room lets instructors control the different components of the house. That control room also includes a phone system, so students can practice communicating with emergency dispatchers. The third room includes a heated door and an opening window where students are taught how to safely evacuate a house fire. The safety house is also equipped to release smoke, simulating a house fire.
Jones said that she “wanted to use every corner of this to be able to teach,” so even the outside of the house is decorated with informative material. The largest sides of the safety house depict a home escape plan and hold information about smoke alarms.
The current program is mostly aimed at elementary school students, but Jones noted that, depending on the age of students, different aspects of the safety house are emphasized. She also shared that future goals include safety lessons for not only younger students, but college students and the elderly.
Accessibility was also important to Jones: “Our goal is to get into the communities that maybe don’t have the money to have education, fire and life safety education, so we want to be able to help the those communities that may not have that resource.” She noted that the fire safety house is also handicap friendly.
While the fire safety house will be stationed in Fannin County, it will serve the entire North Georgia area. Jones noted it’s one of three in the state, with the other two in Central Georgia and the Atlanta area. “I’m very appreciative,” Jones said of the Fannin County Fire Department, “there’s not many departments that we could have room and would let us bring it in.”