Vidalia Fire Department
Fire Prevention Division
Battalion Chief Vanier
204 Vernon Stevens Boulevard
Vidalia, Louisiana 71373
|The Vidalia Fire Department
Offers Community Burn Education Program To Hell and
Back. This program teaches the reality of burn injuries
and prevention. Sustaining a severe burn is one of
the most painful and devastating injuries a body can
endure. More than 250,000 of burn injuries occur
every year in the United States and more than 10
percent of those injuries result in death. The
Vidalia Fire Department is working to lower those
statistics by first changing behaviors in our own
community through a new nationally recognized and
distributed burn education and prevention program
called To Hell and Back: Community Awareness.
The program is geared for adults and high school
students and is the first of its kind offering
“reality TV” on what happens to the skin when a burn
injury occurs and the life-long impact of severe
burn injuries. Using real life experiences of burn
survivors, the program was developed by The People’s
Burn Foundation and a national team of fire service
experts to ultimately teach the importance of being
proactive in practicing burn prevention. It is a
free program funded with an Assistance to
Firefighters Grant through the Department Homeland
“I thought this program was a great reality check,”
said one high school student during pilot site
testing. “I always knew about burns, but never the
severe physical, mental, social, and financial
consequences. I believe this program will be good
for all high school students.”
“I believe this is ‘must see TV’ for every high
school student, parent and adult in our community,”.
“It is graphic and powerful, and it is the reality
of burn injuries. Our community is fortunate to have
this program available because it will save lives.”
“I thought the program gave a good look at what it
would be like to be a burn victim,” said one high
school student. “Following the recovery of four
severely burned people made it more real and helped
us understand burn care and prevention. It makes me
thankful for everything I can do and will do to make
myself and others more cautious about preventing
burns in the future.”
Another student said: “The video did a great job of
explaining the sequence of events with helping and
caring for burn victims. From a science standpoint,
the explanation of the layers of skin and how they
are affected was great. Hopefully this DVD will help
others think about the consequences of playing with
fire and why it is important not to be burned.”
Winter holidays are a time for family and
friends to get together. But that also means a greater
risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure
a happy and fire-safe season.
Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose
decoreations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
Keep lit candles away from decorations and other
things that can burn.
Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken
cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instrctions
for number of light strands to connect.
Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do
not get damaged.
Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
Before heading out to bed blow out lit candles when
you leave the room. Turn off all light strings and decorations
before leaving home or going to bed.
Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your
home fire escape plan.
Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked
Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to
keep thier smoking materials with them so young children do not touch
Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet
cigarette butts with water before discarding.
CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY
PICKING THE TREE
PLACING THE TREE
Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from
the base of the trunk.
Make sure the tree is at least three feet away
from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat
vents or lights
Make sure the tree is not blocking any exit.
Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add
LIGHTING THE TREE
Use lights that have the label of a recognized
testing laboratory. Some lights are only for inddor or outdoor
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken
cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's
instructions for number of light strands to connect.
Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
Always turn off Christmas tree lights before
leaving home or going to bed.
Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is
dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left
in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
When disposing of the tree check with your
community to find a recycling program.
Keep fire where it belongs - in the fireplace! Make sure
you have a screen large enough to catch flying sparks and rolling logs.
Clean your chimney regularly - creosote build-up can ignite your chimney,
roof and the whole house! Have your chimney inspected annually for damage
and obstructions. Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container.
Cardboard boxes and paper bags can quickly catch fire. Only burn materials
appropriate for a fireplace, never burn trash or paper, burning paper can
float up a chimney and onto your roof or into your yard.
Furnaces should have regular maintenance to operate
properly. Annual cleaning, inspection are recommended. As mentioned before,
have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. Don’t use the oven for
Space heaters need their space! Keep combustibles at least
three feet away from each heater. When buying a heater, look for a
thermostat control mechanism and a switch that automatically shuts off the
power if the heater falls over. Heaters are not dryers or tables! Don’t dry
or store objects on top of your heater.
Safety is a top consideration when using space
heaters. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more
than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of
space heaters, causing more than 300 deaths. An estimated 6,000 persons
receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with
contacting hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.
When buying and installing a small space heater, follow these guidelines:
Select a heater of the proper size for the room
you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come
with a general sizing table.
Locate the heater on a level surface away from
foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from
- Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of
the current safety features. Make sure the heater has the Underwriter's
Laboratory (UL) label attached to it.
- Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, since
they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
When buying and installing an electric space heater,
you should follow these general safety guidelines:
For portable electric heaters, buy a unit with a
tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the
unit is tipped over.
- Electric heaters should be plugged directly into
the wall outlet. If an extension cord is necessary, use a heavy-duty
cord of 14-guage wire or larger.
Always put candles in non-tip candleholders before you
light them, and do not burn candles near decorations or displays. Keep
candles well away from curtains, and never put candles in windows or near
exits. Never leave a room with a candle burning or within reach of small