Franklin Township firefighters gave the children at Franklin Elementary School a message about fire safety, but not before they congratulated the children for listening to their messages in past years.

Thomas Chew, fire prevention officer, announced that because the children in Franklin Township do not play with matches or lighters, Franklin Township is the safest community in the county.

"In the last year, we've only had one house fire in Franklin Township and in the last year, we've had no injuries because of a house fire."

Chew said thanked the children for listening and remembering to past year's messages.

"This is the best time of the year for us," said Chew. "We want you to know that because of you, we have the safest township in the county."

Following his announcement, firefighters in gear teamed up with a firefighter in uniform to visit individual classrooms. In the kindergarten classroom, Shawn Sheckler wore the fire gear, while David Keiser, was wearing a uniform. Keiser explained that if they should encounter someone in their home dressed in fire gear that they should not be afraid or hide.

"He is here to help you," said Keiser. Keiser also asked the children to talk to their parents about an escape plan.

"Go home and ask your parents about where you should meet if your house catches fire," said Keiser. "It's important to have a plan. Don't try to go back inside for your pets or anything else. Get out of the house and stay out."

Keiser also reminded the children to have their parents change the battery in their fire detector twice a year - every time they change their clocks, they should change the batteries.

Keiser then demonstrated a thermal imaging unit that helps firefighters find people, pets and fires because it shows a bright color when there is heat involved.

"This was an expensive piece of equipment," said Keiser. "The hotter it is the brighter the color. It gives firemen the information they need to fight fires."

Firefighters also distributed plastic firemen helmets and coloring books to the children.

Franklin Township Fire Co. will be holding open house at the fire station from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. There will be demonstrations and displays. Everyone is welcome.