October is National Fire Prevention Month — a good time to check to make sure your home is safe from fires and that your family knows what to do in an emergency. Each year, local fire departments across the country host Fire Prevention Week Open House events to help the public learn about safety. At various fire stations, firefighters and paramedics have displays and activities emphasizing fire and life safety — with some fun activities, too.
The theme of the 2017 Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14, is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” It reinforces why everyone needs to have a home fire escape plan with more than one exit. Fire Prevention Week is sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association, which provides useful free resources on its site for the general public.
But each community fire station also celebrates in its own way. Below we highlight a few of the celebrations as examples taking place at local Volunteer Fire Departments (VFD) in Fairfax and nearby areas. All fire department open house events are free.
Some events taking place Saturday, October 14, 2017:
- City of Fairfax Fire Department hosts its open house 10 am to 5 pm at Fire Station 3. There will be an apparatus display, a kids’ challenge course, and live rescue demonstrations. The open house also includes free cider and popcorn and an appearance by Sparky the fire dog.
- McLean VFD will showcase fire apparatus, conduct live rescue demonstrations, provide fire safety education, and offer fun activities for the whole family from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Vienna VFD will have a full day of activities and displays for adults and kids, 10 am to 4 pm. There will be fire prevention education plus games, prizes, a moon bounce, and food.
- Burke VFD‘s activities, 10 am to 4 pm, include some fun simulations. The station will have the popular driving simulator where you can sit in the front seat of the engine and “drive” to a call. There also will be a kids’ firefighter challenge where they don protective gear, climb through tunnels, up a ladder to save a kitten, and then get to put a “fire” out. Sparky the Fire Dog will be there, too!
- Greater Springfield VFD starts its open house at 9 am with a pancake breakfast fundraiser. The fun continues with fire safety activities, fire house tours, and family fun until 3 pm.
- Falls Church VFD will conduct fire and emergency medical demonstrations, lead activities for all ages, and provide tours of the station, fire apparatus, tools, equipment, and a visit from Sparky the fire dog! Event hours are 10 am to 4 pm.
- Arlington County‘s 10 fire stations will host activities all day long, including equipment demos, tours of the stations, and fire safety activities.
— Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun