Dozens of families visited the Saline firehouse for Sunday’s open house.
Children climbed up into fire engines parked on Harris Street and inspected equipment on the trucks and in the ambulances. Firefighter Kevin Dillen provided fire safety lessons in the “smoke house,” a trailer designed like a miniature house. After Dillen’s lessons, smoke poured into the trailer and kids escaped out a window where firefighter Jimmy Clark helped them down to safety.
Firefighter Philip Finocchiaro taught dozens of kids to use a fire extinguisher. On the other side of the fire hall, firefighter Sean Payeur gave kids the opportunity to blast water from a real fire hose.
Volunteers from the Saline High School Students Against Destructive Decisions provided facepainting and games for the kids.
Fire Chief Craig Hoeft said children from Saline’s elementary schools have been touring the fire hall all week.
The Saline Area Fire Department’s open house wrapped up National Fire Prevention Week.
Here are facts about fires and home safety from that National Fire Protection Association.
- In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage.
- On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires per day from 2007 to 2011.
- Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment.
- Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.
- Most fatal fires kill one or two people. In 2012, 8 home fires killed five or more people resulting in a total of 44 deaths.
- Almost three of five (60%) of reported home fire deaths in 2007 to 2011 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
- In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 93% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 79% of the time.
- When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
- An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed, to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.
- According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
- Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, more than half never practiced it.
- One-third (32%) of respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!