Folks all over will be "falling back" this weekend, setting their clocks back one hour in observance of Daylight Saving Time. But aside from adjusting the time, local Fire Departments hope you remember the other important part of Daylight Saving Time; testing your smoke detectors and/or changing the batteries in them.

This is usually something kids learn about in school (and then subsequently remind their parents about when they come home.) But with COVID-19, many schools have closed their doors to any outside visitors, including guest instructors. Well, one Maine Fire Department has decided to take an "outside-of-the-box" approach to teach kids about important fire safety lessons...by taking to YouTube!

Orono Firefighter, Dennis Bean, has been the Fire Safety Instructor in schools for the past 24 years. He's been all over the country, teaching other Fire Departments how to gear fire safety lessons to young students. While in years past, he would have been in the classrooms to teach these lessons in face-to-face, this year he had to get creative with how to get the messages to the kids if he couldn't be there in person. That's why he teamed up with fellow Orono Firefighter, Matt Grindle, and created a YouTube Video that teachers can use in their classrooms.

"You can teach the exact same message to a kindergartener as you do a 4th grader.  It's all about toning it to their level. And I love off the cuff...on the fly type things with the kids. I love the challenge of keeping them engaged for a whole 30 minutes at a time!!!"

Bean says he hopes to be able to pass along more information to students through other videos in the future-because fire safety such an important subject for kids to learn.

"Once a fire starts to free burn...it grows twice its size every 30 seconds!!!!! No time to waste!!!!! You've got to make sure you can hear that beep from where you sleep, because fire doesn't sleep. And smoke is a deadly killer that sneaks up on you. So test those alarms and change those batteries!"

Bean hopes the next videos they create will address the importance of getting and staying outside when that alarm sounds, and also about the theme of "Get Low and Go", having two ways out of any building.

What's nice about these videos, is anyone can use them to help teach kids these key concepts of how to stay safe if a fire breaks out. Whether you're in a regular school or homeschooling, these videos are great resources for parents and teachers alike.

You can find this video, and the others they'll create, on the Orono Fire Department's Facebook page and their YouTube Channel.

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