During October’s National Fire Prevention Month, the Zachary Fire Department visits schools as fire safety clowns called the FireStoppers or by putting on a puppet show in an effort to teach youths about fire safety and prevention.

On Oct. 9, Capt. Ronald Hives, as Pyro the Puppet, with assistance from Deputy Chief of Operations Glen Triche, Capt. Danny Reifer and firefighter Stephen Jones, met with prekindergartners at Zachary Early Learning Center. Students learned the importance of every family having an escape plan in the event of a fire, how and when to call 911, and the importance of replacing batteries in smoke detectors. Some students were selected for demonstrations on how to stop, drop and roll, which is a simple fire-safety technique taught to children, emergency services personnel and industrial workers as a part of health and safety training.

Reifer said the method works to extinguish fire on a person’s clothes or hair without, or in addition to, the use of conventional firefighting equipment.

Teaching the safety information dressed as clowns or puppets makes the lessons fun for younger students and helps them to remember the vital information, Hives said.

Though the clowns were not at ZELC on Friday, Pyro and fellow FireStoppers Axe, Blaze and Flash will visit students at Rollins Place Elementary on Friday and at Northwestern Elementary on Oct. 27. Fire prevention puppet shows will be held at The Little School, as well, on Friday and at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School on Oct. 26.

This month, the city of Zachary is partnering with the Fire Department in handing out fire-safety information cards. The “What is that SMELL?” card has a scratch-and-sniff feature and offers common sense safety rules and instructions on what to do and not do if natural gas is detected in the home.

Natural gas has no odor, so the bad smell the city has added to its gas is a safety feature, providing protection for families so they can detect escaping gas even in the smallest quantities, Zachary city employee Meghan Whittington said while distributing the cards.

For a card, call the city at (225) 654-0201.