MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Each October, fire departments statewide make preparations for the annual Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest; the contest marks the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
The theme for Fire Prevention Week 2016 was "Don't Wait; Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years." According to the National Fire Protection Association, working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time to promote public awareness of fire prevention and fire safety. The Collierville Fire Department is an annual supporter of the poster contest which is open to all public, private and home-schooled students in grades Kindergarten through 12th .
After participating schools or groups select their own grade level winners, Collierville Fire personnel and Town staff select the Collierville town-wide winners. Collierville winning posters are sent to the State Fire Marshal's Office for statewide judging.
The State Fire Marshal's Office received over 125 entries from across Tennessee. Of the 16 statewide awards available, Collierville students won 6 total!
The winners Bryant Dai (Kindergarten), Kendall Harper (4th Grade), Daksha Mohan (5th Grade), Sophie Marcrum (7th Grade), Julia Timms (8th Grade) and Katie Tucker (12th Grade) are all from Collierville Schools.
Last year Collierville had seven statewide poster winners - in both 2015 and 2016 Collierville set records for the highest number of poster winners from one city!
On Saturday, January 28, statewide poster winners were recognized at the 2016 Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest Awards Ceremony at the Tennessee Fire & Codes Academy in Bell Buckle, TN. Each winner received a First Place ribbon, a certificate of achievement from the Governor, and a $50 cash prize.
Winners also learned about and practiced fire extinguisher usage, technical rescue rope training and kitchen safety during afternoon sessions on the campus. Additional highlights included meeting Wrigley, a trained accelerant detection dog, and a live burn demonstration highlighting the advantages of having a fire sprinkler system.
"I hope we have another banner year of Fire Prevention Week Poster Winners. Not only is Collierville breaking state poster winner records, but we are educating children and their parents about important fire safety messages," said Erin Daniels, Collierville Fire Public Education Specialist.