Scituate’s Fire Department will team up with Papa Gino’s to bring awareness to National Fire Prevention Month with a Fire Safety Open House, an event that will help educate the community on fire safety and prevention.
The open house will take place at the Fire Station on First Parish Road on Sunday, Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents are encouraged to come and eat pizza, receive fire prevention materials, and discuss safety with on-staff professionals.
The program has helped more than 2 million people in the 17 years the open houses have been occurring nationally, and has educated thousands in the 14 years the Scituate program has been around.
This year, Scituate’s fire staff is excited to share their knowledge of an important topic with the town's families.
“We’re expecting over 600 people this year,” said Scituate Fire Captain Alfred Elliot. “We’re doing it on a Sunday, and doing it in a three-hour span, so we’re expecting a good turnout, and we’re hoping a lot of people come to learn about fire safety.”
Firefighters will demonstrate the way to escape a smoke-filled room, cooking safety tips, fire prevention tips, and introduce Sparky, the fire safety mascot, who will interact with children on fire prevention.
Also included in the day will be a stop, drop, and roll competition; how to use a fire extinguisher; information on smoke detector regulation; a jaws of life demonstration; and the chance to crawl inside a smoke house.
According to a release, each year fires claim hundreds of lives throughout New England. The open houses, coupled with school fire safety tips, can help reduce those fatalities.
“I think since student awareness fire prevention started in the 90s, people have become much more aware of fire safety and working smoke detectors,” Elliot said. “People have become more safety-conscious.”
The event is also a way for families to come together to understand everyday fire risks, especially as winter approaches.
“There is always a concern too with heating prices up that people will use alternative methods to heat their homes, so we stress heating safety this type of year, because we have a lot of lives lost in winter time from fires started through heating equipment,” Elliot said.
It’s all in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities associated with fire, something programs like this have already been successful in doing.
“On a statewide basis, since student awareness fire prevention education began, the loss of life in children in Massachusetts has steadily decreased, and they attribute that to initiative in the schools and initiatives in fire stations such as the open house,” Elliot said. Additionally, “in the last 15 years, we haven’t had a fatal fire with death of a child … since the program started, so we think the open houses and the fire safety programs have made an impact.”