FIRE SAFETY LESSON: Milton Elementary School students walk around the Milton Fire and Rescue trucks during a fire prevention program at the school on Friday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
FIRE SAFETY LESSON: Milton Elementary School students walk around the Milton Fire and Rescue trucks during a fire prevention program at the school on Friday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Milton Elementary School students learned fire safety tips and inspected fire trucks during a presentation by Milton Fire and Rescue on Friday.

Milton Fire Chief Jason Long told students that most house fires begin in the kitchen while people are cooking and to beware whenever they are in the kitchen. The fire safety presentation kicked off the area's annual Fire Prevention Week, which begins Sunday.

"That's the leading cause of fires - cooking fires," Long said.

Long encouraged students to stay away from the stove and to keep other things, like towels and pets, away from stove as well.

"Just remember to stay three feet away from the stove at all times," Long said. "You never know when it's on."

The department also encourages adults to stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food, and if you need to leave the room - even for a short period of time - turn off the stove. Also, firefighters ask people to use a stove's back burners whenever children are present to lessen the possibility of knocking a pan to the floor.

During the event, students were reminded to "Stop, Drop and Roll," should their clothes catch on fire. Several students demonstrated the maneuver for their classmates, while covering their faces from possible debris on the ground or flames.

Students also need to discuss fire plans with their parents, Long said, and families should regularly check smoke detectors to be prepared for an emergency situation.

Firefighter Katie Sparkman dressed in fire gear during the event to show students what a firefighter in full gear looks like. With a mask and air tank, firefighters often look scary to children during real-life situations, Long said.

"So don't hide from them," he told students. "If you see them, run to them to get out (of the house)."

Although Long encouraged students to know or find the safest route out of their house should there be a fire, he assured them that the department has tools to get into a house for fire rescues should one be needed.

"We can make a window in your house," Long said. "We can make a door to get to you."