by Denise Civiletti
A group of Riverhead Country Day School tots donned plastic fire helmets and got up close with a Riverhead Fire Department truck Wednesday morning outside the preschool in advance of Fire Prevention Month programs.
"That's the beginning of our month right there," said fire district manager Frank Darrow. "We start going to the schools, teaching them fire safety all through the month of October."
Activities include teaching children of certain age groups to navigate a smoke-filled building, showing kids how to use fire extinguishers and providing general information about preventing fires.
Darrow said some of the most common fires are easily prevented, including kitchen fires caused by food left cooking unattended on stoves or in ovens. Sometimes people fall asleep as their food cooks and they wake to a smoky house, or worse.
At the daycare, Riverhead volunteer firefighter Ray Atkins said giving young kids such knowledge can lead directly to prevention of injuries, death and property loss.
"One young girl, about 9 or 10, her father didn't know how to use the fire extinguisher, so she used it. Put out a fire," Atkins said.
Photo caption: Riverhead volunteer firefighter Ray Atkins at the Riverhead Country Day School yesterday.
RiverheadLOCAL photo by Micah Danney