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Fire prevention: LBW class learns about fire prevention week

Greenville Fire Department Captain Mickey Norman paid a visit to the LBW Luverne Center’s English as a Second Language (ESL) class on Tuesday to share information regarding Fire Prevention Week (Photo by Beth Hyatt).

Greenville Fire Department Captain Mickey Norman paid a visit to the LBW Luverne Center’s English as a Second Language (ESL) class on Tuesday to share information regarding Fire Prevention Week (Photo by Beth Hyatt).

In honor of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 9-15, the LBW Community College Luverne Center’s English as a Second Language (ESL) class welcomed Mickey Norman, Captain with the Greenville Fire Department, to their class Tuesday.

“My mother teaches the ESL class, so she asked me to talk to her class and give them some pointers and good fire safety tips,” Norman said.

“We looked and talked about the fire extinguishers and how to use those, when to call 911, how to get out of the house and what to do if you do have a small fire.”

 Captain Mickey Norman shows the ESL class at the LBW Luverne Center the importance of checking your fire extinguisher tags (Photo by Beth Hyatt).

Captain Mickey Norman shows the ESL class at the LBW Luverne Center the importance of checking your fire extinguisher tags (Photo by Beth Hyatt).

According to Norman, the students were responsive to the information presented and even offered questions at the end of his presentation. Norman had the chance to share tips on fire extinguisher usage, kitchen safety, how to extinguish grease fires and also explained the contents of medical kits located around the school.

Jackie Sport, ESL instructor at LBW Luverne Center, has wanted to bring her son in to speak to the class for many years now since he is educated in both fire safety and medical practices, but scheduling conflicts always arose.

“This was in one of our articles in the newspaper we get; I call it the Adult Weekly Reader. It’s an English newspaper and we get it once a month,” Sport said.

“The article was about Fire Prevention Week in America. It has things to watch for, and all of us have things we need to fix at our homes. Overall, they enjoyed it.”

Mike Presley, welding instructor for LBW Luverne Center and owner of Central Fire Services, also weighed in on the importance of routine fire extinguisher maintenance.

“The ABC fire extinguisher’s, which you would normally have in your home, gauge should be looked at once a month or more often. You need to make sure it’s in the green and not on the outside edge; it needs to be in that green,” Presley said.

“What can happen is that the pressure can leak down over a period of time. It may be good today and next month it may leak. Check the end of your nozzle to make sure nothing is obstructing it, like spider webs or dirt dobbers. At least once a year, take it off the wall, turn it upside down, rock it back and forth to fluff the powder up. That’s what the homeowner can do.”

Presley noted that every six years, extinguishers need to be torn down, depressurized, emptied and visually inspected inside and out. After this inspection, the powder can be placed back into the extinguisher and given a new tag.

After 12 years, the extinguishers should be hydro tested, which means they are filled with water up to a certain pressure level to ensure the body of the canister is sound and without defects.

For those unable to or uncomfortable with maintaining personal fire extinguishers, Central Fire Services is there to help.

“We do individuals, home owners, people with foster kids, anyone. We will come to you, or you can come to us,” Presley said.

Central Fire Services offers services to a multitude of areas, such as Atmore, Greenville, Luverne, Troy, Selma, Montgomery, Grove Hill and many more locations.

“Your dryer may catch on fire, or something on the stove may catch on fire. If you don’t do that routinely, when you need it, it may not work,” Presley said.

“Watch your gauge and make sure it’s in the green. Check your nozzle, make sure it’s not turned over or covered up. You want it where you can get to it very quickly and you don’t have to hunt it.”

According to Presley, larger buildings are required to have a fire extinguisher in sight every 75 feet. For homeowners, Presley suggests always having two extinguishers on hand in case one fails.

For more information on Central Fire Services and fire extinguisher maintenance, Presley says to call (334) 374-8149 or (334) 362-0077.

“The main goal in an emergency, other than putting out a fire, is to make sure they don’t happen in the first place,” Norman said.

“Fire prevention is huge, and the more people know, the less likely they are to accidentally start a fire. And when it does happen, they know how to extinguish it or either get out and get out safely. The ultimate goal is for nobody to get hurt or injured.”