On Centre | Around Philipsburg: Mo Valley fire units embrace blaze prevention, awareness

A crackle in an outlet. A curl of smoke. In a heartbeat, the tiniest spark, the threat you can’t even see, can be fanned into a flame that can swallow a home or a life.

Moshannon Valley area firefighters have seen it happen too many times. They have a tendency to follow the rules obsessively because they know just how easily a fire can start and how quickly it can turn to tragedy.

It’s something they would like everyone to remember.

October is Fire Prevention Month, and the companies of the Philipsburg Fire Department are trying to reach out to help people understand how important fire safety is. Reliance Fire Company and sister company Hope have been putting out fires and trying to stop them from happening for more than a century.

“The Philipsburg Fire Department is always interested in coming in and showing kids ways to be safe with fire, show them the equipment we use and hand out coloring books and other items,” Reliance said in a recent statement.

It might be a message that washes right past adults who hear a thousand deadly worries every day, but for kids, it makes an impact. Talk to a four-year-old the day the fire company has been to preschool for a visit and there is no “um, I don’t remember” when you ask what happened at school. You get a nonstop stream-of-consciousness report about stop, drop and roll and not playing with matches and getting adults to help with hot things, all topped off with fire trucks and ladders and hoses.

The department is also eager to help plan fire drills and check smoke alarms at preschools and daycare centers. Anyone looking to set up a visit can call 342-2710.