• Hartford Grant Boosts
    Fire Safety For KCS

    Posted by Josh Flory on 9/26/2019
    A student from Beaumont Magnet Academy practices exiting a window of the Fire Safety House, which is sponsored by The Hartford, on September 26, 2019.
    A student from Beaumont Magnet Academy practices exiting a window of the Fire Safety House, which is sponsored by The Hartford, on September 26, 2019. 

    A generous grant from The Hartford made Safety Day at Beaumont Magnet Academy a little more special on Thursday.

    The insurance company donated $20,000 to Knox County Schools and the Knox County Fire Department as part of its Junior Fire Marshal program. The money will be used to support fire safety education.

    As part of the initiative, The Hartford brought its “Fire Safety House” to Beaumont. The mobile trailer is designed to look like a bedroom, and is used to train children about how to respond in case of a fire.

    On Thursday, KFD firefighter Eric “Bo” Merritt played an alarm sound for students who had gathered in the Safety House, and reminded them to always check the door before leaving their room. When students realized that the door was hot, Merritt helped them climb out a window using a ladder.

    AnnMarie LaBreck, a spokeswoman for The Hartford, said the Junior Fire Marshal program has deputized 111 million children since it began in 1947. Because it started as a fire insurance company, LaBreck said, The Hartford is committed to helping families and children achieve higher levels of fire safety.

    For Beaumont students, the Fire Safety House was just one part of a broader focus on safety education. Principal Windy Clayton said the school also did a fire drill, a lockdown drill and a bus evacuation drill on Thursday, and that students were excited about the theme.

    “They love it and the parents appreciate it,” Clayton said. “We’ll do this again in the spring on a smaller scale but it’s a great way -- especially for our kindergarteners, as they transition into school for the first time -- to talk about drills and safety.”