NFSA Supports Excelisor Fire Prevention Week Open House

Fire Department open houses are always engaging and exciting events! Children have a chance to talk to their firefighting heroes, squirt water through fire hoses, explore fire apparatus, and even get a ride on a fire engine! Adults have the chance to learn valuable life- and property-saving prevention techniques, receive smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for their homes, and learn how to properly operate fire extinguishers or perform CPR. Such was the case at the Excelsior Fire District’s Fire Prevention open house on Thursday, October 3rd.

The National Fire Sprinkler Association was part of the action, passing out promotional materials and information to the 400-500 community members that attended the event. The Minnesota Chapter’s famous “red bags” and the NFSA’s new “Winkler the Fire Sprinkler” coloring books were big hits with the crowd. Audiences at fire station open houses are largely made up of kids and families, so there were not many “fire sprinkler” questions asked and answered However, NFSA’s presence at these evens is important for showing that sprinklers are an important component of home fire safety, and our presence is important for supporting our AJH members.

One of the unique features of this particular event was a fire extinguisher servicing truck from NFSA member Summit Fire Protection. Shane Mierke is an emergency lighting and extinguisher technician with Summit, and he did yeoman’s duty – with an infectious smile – as a long line of homeowners and small business managers from across the fire district brought their extinguishers in for servicing and testing.

The culmination of the open house event was a fire demonstration presented by Lindstrom Restoration. They operate a side-by-side sprinkler demonstration trailer – one equipped with a doorway between the two cubicles. The burn they performed was aligned with the Excelsior Fire District’s theme for the evening: “Close Before You Doze.” That theme – and the live-fire burn performed by Lindstrom – was designed to teach people the value of closing their bedroom doors before going to sleep. That technique can dramatically reduce the smoke, toxins, and heat from reaching sleeping occupants inside a bedroom in the event of a home fire. Lindstrom technicians lit a fire in a living room mockup, and the audience saw how a single hollow core door can hold back flames and smoke from an adjoining baby’s bedroom.

Lindstrom is a fire/flooding restoration company based in Plymouth, MN. They have used their trailer in the “side by side mode” about four times this year to show the value of fire sprinklers and the destructive power and speed of an uncontrolled fire.

October is Fire Prevention Month, and all of us should take some practical, specific, and simple actions to protect ourselves and our families from the ravages of fires in the home. Checking smoke alarms for proper operation and life expectancy, learning to use a fire extinguisher properly, practicing egress from the home, incorporating sprinklers into our housing choices, and practicing the “close before you doze” mentality and safe cooking practices are all great ways to reduce the impact of fire in the home. Taking simple steps like these can also be a great family activity and a wonderful way to enjoy the remainder of National Fire Prevention Month.