SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Schriever Airmen learned about proper fire prevention techniques and the how to engage these methods in times of crisis during Fire Prevention Week Oct. 9-15.
On and off base, the Schriever Fire Department hosted booths, demonstrations and disseminated information to Airmen and their families in an effort to highlight the importance of practicing fire prevention.
“The week gives us an opportunity to educate the public in fire safety for themselves and their families,” said Brad Truver, SFD assistant chief. “Every home, whether it is military housing on-base or off-base housing, needs to have families prepared for when a fire occurs.”
All aspects of fire prevention were highlighted, however this year followed the theme “Don’t wait, check the date” concerning checking the dates of smoke alarms for expiration, (required to be replaced every ten years according to the National Fire Prevention Association website), in order to focus on an often overlooked fire hazard many people were unaware of before learning the information provided, including Truver.
“After learning more about fire alarms, I checked my alarms at home and was astonished to find that even I needed to change my alarms,” remarked Truver.
Throughout the week, Airmen learned from booths set-up in high traffic areas, while “Sparky” the fire dog made regular appearances at the Child Development Center, entry gates and more, encouraging those around him to sniff out fires at the source.
“Raising awareness is crucial, and fires not only place people’s lives at risk, but here on a military base, it can jeopardize the mission as well,” said Paul Macek, SFD fire inspector. “It’s all about the message.”
The valuable information the SFD spread throughout the week was magnified by the face-to-face contact between firefighters and the community, said Macek.
“It’s great to be able to deliver the important message of fire prevention on a personal level and put a face on the message,” said Macek.
For the SFD, the week is a crucial part of ongoing effort to create a community well-versed in preventing and countering fire danger.
“On average, a fire occurs three to five times in a person’s lifetime, so if you have proper knowledge, you’ll be able to face it with confidence,” said Truver. “A fire can, and will, happen in our lifetime, and it’s important to be prepared for it.”
According to the NFPA website, National Fire Prevention Week was established by the International Fire Marshals Association on the 40th anniversary of the notorious Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people, devastating the city which was ill-equipped to deal with a large-scale fire at the time. IFMA dedicated NFPW as an annual week dedicated spreading fire prevention awareness.
For more information on National Fire Prevention Week, go to http://www.nfpa.org .