HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Hanscom Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to recognize Fire Prevention Week here Oct. 6 through 11.
The 2019 campaign is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” and is geared towards educating the community on the everyday actions members can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
“This is really to educate our kids on the basics of fire safety and get them thinking about it at a young age,” said Fire Capt. Bob Kenyon, 66th Civil Engineering Division lead fire inspector.
Recent NFPA studies show that U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires, said Fire Lt. Susan Gribbin, 66 CES fire inspector.
“These numbers show us that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” she said.
By teaching community members to plan and practice escape routes, Hanscom firefighters are hoping to decrease the number of deaths and injuries caused by fires.
“In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds,” said Fire Lt. Matthew Bernier, 66 CES fire inspector. “Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.”
Throughout Fire Prevention Week, the Hanscom Fire Department, along with Sparky the Fire Dog, will visit the installation schools to give students a chance to ask questions and get a hands-on look at the equipment firefighters use.
The fire prevention activities will also include a tour of the fire station, mapping out escape routes in the home, getting familiar with how firefighters look and sound dressed in full gear, and practicing fire safety in everyday life. A fire prevention booth will be open at the Base Exchange Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Fire Lt. Sean Ford, 66 CES fire inspector. “No matter where they are, we want them to look for available exits. If the alarm sounds, they should take it seriously.”
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities at Hanscom AFB, contact the Fire Department at 781-225-5600/5601/2801/5467. For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit https://www.nfpa.org/fpw