Fire departments to host fire safety night for families

COVINGTON - Newton County Fire Services and the Covington Fire Department are hosting their second annual Family Prevention Night Sept. 4, from 4 to 9 p.m. in the parking lot of the Covington Wal-Mart.

Organizers are hoping for a large crowd and stress that there should be something interesting at the event for every member of the family.

"This is a precursor to October, which is the statewide Fire Safety Education Month," said CFD Capt. Tony Smith. "We wanted to promote a general safety concept and broaden the event so it's not just about fire safety."

To that end, in addition to firefighters, there will be representatives from local and state public safety agencies including police, sheriff's deputies, GBI and ATF agents, 911 dispatchers, EMS personnel and rangers from the Georgia Forestry Commission. All these agencies and more will have information booths, equipment displays and opportunities for questions and answers.

"Weather permitting, we'll also have two helicopters - Emory Flight and Rescue Air One doing demonstrations," Smith said.

And the weather is a concern because last year's event was rained out. Smith said there was a big crowd forming to participate, but the weather became so bad, after all the preparations, they had to call it off, which was a disappointment to organizers, as well as those attending.

"We're really hoping for good weather for this event," he said.

Though geared specifically for youngsters, Smith said there should be plenty of items of interest for adults.

"The health department will be giving flu shots and there'll be someone there to check car safety seats to make sure they are properly installed," he said.

Youngsters will be entertained by clowns, inflatables and other activities, as well as popcorn, cotton candy and soft drinks - all of which is free to the community.

Another popular feature for the event will be a Fire Safety House, which simulates a real fire by emitting non-toxic smoke and teaches youngsters how to escape a burning home.

Smith said Family Prevention Fun Night will be set up in the area nearest to Ga. 142 in the Wal-Mart parking lot and they plan to be very visible.

"There will be lots of fire trucks and flashing lights," he said.

The event is part of area fire departments fire safety education initiatives that also include student tours of fire stations and classroom visits from fire personnel.

Anyone with questions concerning Family Prevention Fun Night should call Smith a 770-385-2100.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles