POINT PLEASANT — In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, the Point Pleasant Fire Department (PPFD) will be holding its annual Community Family Fun Day this Saturday, Oct. 13.
The event will be held in the field across from the Point Pleasant Fire Station at 2309 Jackson Avenue. The event is free to the public and hot dogs, chips, and drinks will be available.
To kick off the day, at 11:30 a.m., there will be a fire truck parade starting in front of the old board office on 12th and Main streets traveling down Main to Third Street, then moving on the main road through town up to the Community Family Fun Day event site where activities will begin at noon and end at 4 p.m.
Fire trucks will be on display as well as an ambulance from Mason County EMS, the police K-9 unit, a medical helicopter, and a fire safety house from the New Haven Fire Department. Also, there will be inflatable bounce houses and face painting by Andrea’s Army.
The following live demonstrations will be taking place: 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., fire extinguisher demo; 1 p.m., Police k-9 demo; 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., vehicle extrication demo.
Throughout the week, the PPFD will also be visiting the local schools in its response area. The PPFD will be focusing on this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign,“Look. Listen. Learn.” during their visitations.
According to information from the Point Pleasant Fire Department, today’s home fires burn faster than ever, in a typical home fire, an individual may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.
The PPFD is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere” which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.
NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1,000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.
“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”
Carli also notes that although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over confidence contributes to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.
“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” said PPFD Fire Chief JR Spencer, “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life saving difference escape planning and practice can make and motivating them to action.”
Spencer commented this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire: look for places fire could start; listen for the sound of the smoke alarm; learn two ways out of every room.
While NFPA and the PPFD are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Spencer. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
Erin Perkins contributed to this article. Additional information provided by the Point Pleasant Fire Department.