BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot Fire Department is hosting an open house today to educate the community about fire prevention and fire safety.
The open house will be from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Station 1 at 255 N. Ash St. in Blackfoot. Tours of the station and equipment displays will be available, as well as refreshments. The open house is part of Fire Prevention Week.
Throughout the past year, the Blackfoot Fire Department has responded to several fires that have reiterated the importance of having working smoke detectors in the home. A nighttime fire in late March at the Riverview Villa Trailer Park claimed the lives of two adults at the home, and a follow-up visit to Riverview VIlla showed most of the homes did not have working smoke detectors.
Capt. Dave Krumenacker said he has visited numerous homes which have smoke detectors that don't work or have been disconnected. Krumenacker recommends changing batteries in smoke detectors when changing clocks for daylight savings time. The National Fire Protection Association also recommends having at least one alarm on every level including the basement, outside of each sleeping area and in each bedroom. Test smoke alarms once a month and change the battery right away if an alarm chirps.
Smoke detectors alone are sometimes not enough, as some people sleep through the alarms. Krumenacker said families should practice fire drills in the middle of the night to ensure everyone will wake up and be able to get out of the house safely.
"The drills are important for kids to practice so when the pressure is on they can get it done," Krumenacker said.
Families should also have a planned location to gather during an evacuation, and children should know their address and phone numbers in case of an emergency to ensure their safety as well as the firefighters who may have to enter a burning home to make sure there is no one inside.
Knowledge is the key in any emergency situation, and Krumenacker believes it can also save lives. The Fire Department will have information about smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors as well as controlled burns and ways to prevent fires in the home during the open house.
Additionally, Krumenacker said the firefighters are always willing to accommodate tours and presentations to various groups including schools, churches and civic groups. Those interested can call 785-8605 for more information.