EL CENTRO — The city of El Centro is hosting its annual Fire Department Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 5. This free event is open to the public and will be held at El Centro Fire Station #3 located at 1910 N. Waterman Avenue, according to a recent press release.
Coinciding with the kick-off of National Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12, the open house theme is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!” This year’s campaign recognizes the everyday people who motivate their households to develop and practice a home fire escape plan; these seemingly basic behaviors can have life-saving impact.
“This year’s campaign works to celebrate people of all ages who learn about home fire escape planning and practice, bring that information home, and spur their families into action,” said Fire Chief Ken Herbert in the release. “From young students who learn about the campaign at school to parents who attend a community event like a fire station open house — all of them truly are heroes because they’re taking steps to make their households much, much safer from fire.”
“Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!” also focuses on what a home escape plan entails and the value of practicing it, according to the report. These messages are more important than ever, particularly because today’s homes burn faster than ever. Herbert notes that synthetic fibers used in modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homes tend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction, are contributing factors to the increased burn rate.
“People tend to underestimate their risk to fire, particularly at home. That over-confidence lends itself to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice,” said Herbert in the report. “But in a fire situation, we’ve seen time and again that advance planning can make a potentially life-saving difference.”
A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household, per the report.
Saturday’s open house will include tours of the fire station, the Kid’s Safety House experience, hands-only CPR training, static displays, rescue demonstrations, and a visit from Sparky The Fire Dog.