- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A house trailer filled with heavy smoke is giving Sioux City third-graders an idea of what it’s like to be in a real house fire.

The trailer used by the city’s fire department trains kids on how to get out of a smoke-filled room, the Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1jcuQDb ) reports. Every third-grade class in the city gets a visit from the “fire safety house” during National Fire Prevention Week, said Sioux City Fire Rescue Lt. Joe Rodriguez.

Third-graders from Loess Hills Elementary School tackled the training exercise Wednesday. Principal John Beeck said the drill simulates a house fire without actual dangers.

“The kids will go home and share this with their parents and everybody,” Beeck said. “When something like this happens, they’ll know what to do.”

The smoke used is actually a harmless fog. Capt. Dusty Johnson said students can sometimes get spooked, but that there’s always someone in the trailer with them.

The trailer also had fire hazards such as unattended lighters and hair curlers, and students were asked to identify them.

Rodriguez said the realistic drills help reinforce safety preparedness concepts in children. Before the exercise, he told students to ask their parents if they have working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan.

“It’s like wearing seat belts. You want to get them in the habit of checking the smoke alarms and having a plan for them in the case of a fire,” Rodriguez said.


Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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