Columbia officials work to educate families on fire prevention

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COLUMBIA — Many gathered Sunday to kick off Fire Prevention Week. 
The Columbia Fire Department hosted a fair with other emergency responders, like the Columbia Police Department, American Red Cross and Boone County Emergency Management to teach children what to do in the event that a fire breaks out. 
Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal, Brad Fraizer, said it is important that Fire Prevention Week take place to raise awareness and get families thinking about what their emergency plans are, especially in the case of a fire. 
For Columbia firefighters, Fire Prevention Week is especially important for kids.
"We want to really get the word out to children about fire safety," Fraizer said. "Children usually adsorb quickly and tend to remind their parents about performing tasks."
This year's theme for Fire Prevention Week is, "Don't wait, check the date". The theme encourages Columbia residents to be aware of the state of their smoke detectors. 
"We want to remind citizens to check their smoke alarm, look at the back of the smoke alarm at the manufacture date," Fraizer said. 
Fraizer said it's important to remember smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years and batteries in smoke alarms should be changed every six months. 
Deidre Petty-Brown, a parent, said Fire Prevention Week is not not only educating her but for her son as well. 
"My son thought fires were neat until he realized they were also dangerous," she said. "Now, if he gets into this type of situation, he'll know what to do."
"Fire Prevention Week is important for my kids because I want them to be very safe and very knowledgeable and conscious of what's going on if an emergency situation is to take place," Zachary Dodd said.
Dodd is the father of two young children. 
Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9 through Oct. 14.