Behind The Lines: Fire Safety For Kids


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MINT HILL, NC – Mint Hill Firefighter Dylan Falls is on a mission to make sure every kid in Mint Hill knows what to do when they hear a smoke detector go off.  On October 20 and 28, Falls spoke to children at Blair Road UMC’s Preschool about fire safety.

One important thing for children to understand in case of fire is when to get out and when to stay put.  “If you’re in your room, check the door, feel for heat,” says Falls.  “If it’s hot, don’t touch it.  Stay put; we’ll come and get you. Don’t hide under the bed or in the closet,” continues Falls.  “Stay where we can see you.  And don’t be quiet!  Yell and scream; be as loud as you can.”

Dylan Falls at Blair Road UMC Presschool
Dylan Falls at Blair Road UMC Preschool


If the door isn’t hot, however, the safest thing to do is get out.  “Stay below the smoke,” says Falls.  “We call it ‘stay low and go.’”  Have a recognizable place for your family to meet up outside.  Most importantly, once you’re outside, stay outside!  “No matter what’s inside, whether it’s your dog or your favorite action figure, don’t go back inside!” continues Falls.  “If the fire reaches out and bites you on your clothes, stop, drop, cover and roll.”

As a father of two, Falls is aware of how important it is to educate kids on fire safety.  “Being a fireman, one of the hazards of the job is you run through all the worst-case scenarios in your own life,” says Falls.  “I hope that my kids would know what to do in that scenario, and I got to thinking that if I want my kids to know this stuff, there has to be someone out there teaching it.”

Falls hopes to eventually bring fire safety education to all the elementary schools in Mint Hill.  “It’s definitely something we want to see,” he says.  “We want to get out and be more involved with the community and the educational facilities in our area.  It’s something we are excited about moving forward with.”

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011.