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Fire Prevention Open House

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  • Fire Prevention Open House

    Our department is having our first annual Fire Prevention Open House on October 2, 2010. I'm the Fire Prevention & Membership Chairman, as well as a committee member on other committees. This is the first year that I have taken over as the Fire Prevention Chair and would like to have this Open House become a hit!

    I would like to know if anyone here has any experience setting up Open Houses, what kind of events to host, companies to invite, etc. I was thinking about inviting our County's Volunteer Dive Team (they have a sub-station down the road from us), a neighboring departments ladder truck and possibly the County Bomb Squad. Our department has a very limited budget, so I know renting moonbounces and other things are out of the question.

    I appreciate anyones thoughts or comments.

  • #2
    Originally posted by RescueEngine40 View Post
    I appreciate anyones thoughts or comments.
    An open house is great for the community to get to know you're there but if you want to make it a teaching opportunity event for fire prevention, too, pick a few specific fire prevention topics and focus on them. What's the Fire Prevention Week theme this year? Check the NFPA website -- they'll have fire prevention week themed kits that might be within your budget and will help help frame your message.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.


    • #3
      We know this year they are preaching Smoke Alarms, we have that covered, but was asking for more like games, demonstrations, etc. We will also be having a recruitment station set up, as well as tours of the station and apparatus.


      • #4
        Our dept made this little 2D house cut-out. It's maybe 5 feet tall and 5 or 6 feet wide. There are a few windows cut out into it with wooden flames on hinges. We hook up a small hand line to a standpipe and put it at a lower pressure and let the kids "put out the fire" by squirting water on the wooden flames, which knocks them down. That usually has a long line.

        We'll do demos with our aerial and draft water then flow it from the tip or bucket. We have a second floor storage area that has a removable section of the railing. We'll demonstrate a bailout and have our rescue team lower a stokes. Other things you can do is have bunker drills, set up a monitor and deck gun. Have a 50 foot section of 1.75" rolled up and let them feel the weight of it. Make sure you have enough FFs to safely execute this, but have a citizen on the end of the different lines (with a couple FFs for safety), charge the line and let them feel the power of the hose. Show them the fog pattern and let them feel how it moves air. Put it on a straight stream and have them maneuver the nozzle and hose. If your engine will be out of service, do a couple exercises where they can help pull a hose line.

        This video is from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, so you'd have to get permission to show it probably. But I really like the time line and how it shows how quickly stuff happens:

        My view is that you're not going to keep people for long. Maybe an hour or so. So have some exciting things to grab their attention.

        And kids always love the plastic fire helmets and badge stickers.


        • #5
          Get hot dogs and sodas donated and cook

          Anyone near have a firesafety house???

          Air med helo that can come by for short time???

          Jaws and get a car donated to demo on

          Invite the cops , Good pr

          Invite the media????


          • #6
            we run a two piece Engine/Squad Company so there will hopefully be either a car fire or auto extrication demo. I've asked for a ladder truck from a neighboring department to come, but the 2 stations that I've asked, their ladder and tower ladder are both OOS. I am going to contact the County Bomb Squad and Volunteer Dive Team to see if they would be willing to do demonstrations also. Also thought of inviting the County Police Department and the Maryland State Police, as well as a neighboring Hospital's mobile care unit (free blood screening, etc.)

            I've also contacted a local grocery chain for donations of light refreshments and finger type foods, and my Co-Chair is going to contact the local Subway to see if they would be willing to donate some subs. We have tons of brochures that I would like to get out of the Fire Prevention shelfs, alot of it is non Fire Department related (AAA, Traffic Safety, etc.)

            Now we just need to get the rest of our members up and aboard to get this thing running.


            • #7
              A residential sprinkler demo trailer would be good, especially at a time when there is a lot of misinformation out there concerning how a sprinkler system operations. I think NFSA, some sprinkler fitter unions, or other organizations may have them.

              My dept. also operates a Kid's Safety House, as well as free smoke detector or CO alarm giveaways.

              It's also important to remember that as cool as demonstrations, helicopter landings, and truck tours are (they are great at keeping the public's attention and are important) but they are NOT fire prevention. Don't loose focus on making sure the citizens that come out walk away knowing something more about fire prevention and safety.


              • #8
                It's an open house... take advantage of the opportunity to show what your FD does for the community.

                If you are a volunteer FD, use the open house to recruit new personnel.

                See if you can rent or borrow a Sparky costume... great photo op for parents and kids!

                Get a few junkers from the auto wrecking yard and give an extrication demonstration.

                Ask local merchants for donations for door prizes.

                If you have an Home Depot, Lowes, or any other hardware store chain (Ace, Do it Best, etc) ask them if they can donate a few smoke detectors, detectors and/or fire extinguishers to raffle off or give as door prizes.

                If you have a Batteries Plus franchise in the area, ask them to donate 9 volt batteries for smoke detectors.

                Invite your local chapter of the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association to put on first aid and CPR demonstrations.

                If you have a Papa Ginos' Pizzeria franchise in your area, they have a partnership program for local FD's where they have free fire safety materials and will provide free pizza to the event.

                One of the games you can set up for the kids is "bucket brigade"... using kiddie swimming pools and beach pails, the object the game is to move water from one pool to another with a team effort.

                Let the kids handle a fire hose by using the booster line.

                The success of your event is only limited by your imagination!

                PS: be sure to thank the merchants and companies who donate their time, personnel and merchandise by placing their names on your fire safety flier/schedule of events.
                Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 08-19-2010, 08:45 AM.
                ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


                • #9
                  If you do any demos (extraction/car fire) pack up the crew in the engine and go around the block Code 3!!! (the kids will love it)


                  • #10
                    Oh, and don't forget the smoke house!

                    EDIT: Forget it, I see that's already been covered.


                    • #11
                      Jumping in here almost at the last minute... As the training officer for my volunteer house, we (I) am planning a bunch of displays such as the old vs. new scba's, old/new turnouts, the air/light trailer, and probably the TIC.

                      Everything we got new is a result of grants we have been able to win, so I feel we owe it to our communities to show what we have done to better ourselves.

                      I like the idea of hotdogs or something to offer. Of course we are going to have the plastic helmets and stickers. We have borrowed a "smoke house" trailer from the State Fire Marshall's office to have demonstrations of how to call 911 and get low and crawl.

                      I may see if we could do the auto extrication demo as well, but the problem is that due to other conflicts, we only have our drill night to do this.

                      Thanks for the ideas
                      Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!


                      • #12
                        Check with your local fire extinguisher company and see if they will do demos. Alot of the general public has never used one before and the kids love it.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the reminder.... I was going to set up the fire exting prop and offer training/demo.
                          Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the suggestions everybody. I'm the co-chair of this event and I didn't even know it till the chair person dragged me into it. The event is scheduled for this Saturday at the Brandywine VFD. Some of the people and places we've contacted have made committments to the event, and some others have failed to reply at all.

                            Hopefully we'll have some pictures uploaded to our website after the event.



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