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Fire prevention will save lives

Lawrence County’s fire departments are working hard to fight fires before they ever start.

It is encouraging to see many of the county’s volunteer departments and other agencies going all out on events to recognize October as Fire Prevention Month.

From parades to raise awareness to free smoke alarms to visits to area schools, these events could all be the difference between life and death.

Don’t think fire prevention is important? The statistics show otherwise.

Last year in Ohio, approximately 48,862 fires occurred, causing 987 injuries and 160 deaths. Another 734 firefighter were injured and two were killed.

Each of these lives are priceless. Each of these injuries have immeasurable impact on countless families.

But if you want just the dollars and cents, more than $300 million in damages were caused by fires in 2008.

So it is encouraging to see area fire departments taking the time to push awareness and prevention efforts.

Firefighters in general — and certainly volunteers — don’t get enough credit for what they do for our communities. These men and women sacrifice their time and their safety in order to ensure that others are pulled from harm’s way.

So while the firefighter are making an effort to educate everyone this month we hope to see residents make that same effort.

Spend a few minutes to give your home a fire safety inspection. Check the batteries in your smoke alarms. Make sure that you and your children, if you have them, know the plan for when a fire occurs.

As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That may count double when it comes to making sure a fire never starts.