FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- (Oct. 18, 2012) To celebrate Fire Prevention Week, the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department capped the annual week of safety education by hosting an open house at Fire Station No. 1 on Saturday.

"The Fire Prevention Week Open House gives the fire service the opportunity to reach out to the community and empower its citizens to prevent home fires and protect their Families. This year's theme, 'Have 2 Ways Out!' reminds us how important it is to have two ways out of every building we're in -- especially our homes, where most fires take place," said Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Curtis.

The open house gave the community an opportunity to visit the station and learn first-hand fire safety tips, plus enjoy free food, see the equipment and have fun.

One of the fun and educational events for children was the smoke house.

"The Safety House trailer allows us to teach children how to exit their homes in the event of a real fire and when smoke starts to fill their rooms," said Michael Sheek, firefighter. "We bring the kids into the trailer and tell them how to escape, plus walk them through some safety tips in the kitchen and other rooms. Then we'll use a non-toxic smoke and let them practice getting out of the house by crawling out."

While the children were having fun, they were learning fire safety as the same time.

"There are a lot of good activities here for children," said Bill Mulvihill, open house visitor. "Often, the kids will listen to a firefighter before their parents, and they remember what the firefighter told them to do."

Planning for the open house began the first workday after the last open house, said Buddy Glover, fire prevention inspector. Lessons learned are shared, and the firefighters look at what can be done better the following year.

In May, the National Fire Protection Agency announces the theme for Fire Prevention Week and it is that theme that the fire department bases it's fire safety education plan around, Glover said. Fire Prevention week is always held during the week of Oct. 9, as it commemorates the Great Fire of Chicago and the Peshtigo, Wisc., fire, both on the same day in 1871.

While the open house was at the conclusion of Fire Prevention Week, it was not the only event the department undertook during the week.

"This year, we started Fire Prevention Week with conducting programs at all of the elementary Schools here on Fort Leonard Wood. We performed puppet shows, conducted fire safety briefings, and showed fire safety videos. Sparky visited the schools and we had firefighters dress out in turn-out gear, had kids go through the Little Smoke House along with a fire truck display. We ended each program with a fire drill," Glover said.

"We also attended the Child Day Care Center where Sparky made a visit along with a fire truck display," Glover said. Sparky also made a visit to Clarke Library Story Time on Tuesday.

With a lot of work behind them, the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department still has a few more events planned for the month.

A fire prevention display is planned for the Exchange and a puppet show at Pippin Youth Center is scheduled for Friday, along with a visit by Sparky.

"We will finish up the month with assisting Hazelgreen Fire Department in supporting Fire Prevention Week at Laquey Elementary School on Oct. 25 with the Little Smoke House and Sparky," Glover said.

For more information on fire safety, contact the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department at 573.596.0883.

Page last updated Wed October 17th, 2012 at 00:00