Be Vigilant

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Most people just aren't equipped to think extraordinary dangers are present in their everyday lives, but firefighters are.

When called upon they face down the flames, and these emergency responders know the importance of prevention and preparation.

Some elements of prevention are so simple, so mundane, their great importance can easily slip a civilian's mind.

It is no doubt with great regret for the loss that Galax firefighters felt the need to start the "Deanna Project," named after the four-year-old child who died in a Jan. 12 mobile home fire. The volunteers will visit every mobile home in its coverage area to ensure that each and every one of the residents have smoke detectors installed or, if they do, that the device has fresh batteries.

Galax's volunteer firefighters aren't obligated by any law or regulation to canvass their district, or to proactively seek out ways to prevent fires. They could just wait for the fire alarm to go off and ride out on an engine to extinguish the flames after they rise up.

But the firefighters obviously believe it's too dangerous to wait. The amount of time and energy they are dedicating to this idea is yet another example of their selfless community service.

It's incumbent upon everyone to follow the firefighters' example and take the steps needed to protect themselves and their loved ones.

It's not necessary to run into a fire to save a life.

Attention to the little things in some cases may be all that's required.