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Plum firefighters educate children on fire prevention

By the numbers

Every 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States, according to a new report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In 2012, there were:

• 1,375,500 fires responded to by public fire departments

• 2,855 civilian deaths

• 16,500 injuries as a result of fire

The number of structure fires has steadily declined in recent years, from their peak in 1977 of 1,098,000 to 480,500 in 2012.

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Logans Ferry Heights volunteer firefighters had no problem preparing a program for their open house.

The National Fire Protection Association selected “Prevent Kitchen Fires” as the theme for this year's fire prevention week that ran through Saturday. Also, October is National Fire Prevention month.

“We get a lot of kitchen fires,” Logans Ferry Heights assistant fire Chief Scott Godleski said. “We hit different subjects (at the open house) including having a kitchen check list (of items for fire prevention) like a fire extinguisher and an escape plan.”

The department's open house was Oct. 10.

Volunteer firefighters from Plum's departments each October conduct public-service activities including open houses at their stations and visit schools, day care centers and even a farm to get safety tips out to children.

Members of the Renton Volunteer Fire Department hand out plastic fire helmets, lollipops, fire safety cards with fire prevention tips, coloring books and pencils to children from noon to 5 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday in October at the Mallisee Farm on Mallisee Road.

“We talk with the children about making sure they have a fire escape plan and a plan with their family to have a general meeting spot outside,” Renton assistant fire Chief Dave Bender said. “And we tell them about stop, drop and roll and calling 911.”

Volunteers with the Holiday Park and Unity volunteer fire departments conduct fire prevention programs at each of the five elementary schools in the Plum School District, St. John the Baptist Catholic School and day care centers.

“We want children to be able to know how to feel doors (for heat) and crawl on the floor (in the event of a fire),” Holiday Park fire Chief Larry Glass said. “I preach keeping bedroom doors closed when sleeping. It bides time. It is a temporary safety chamber.”

Glass aims for children to take the tips home to parents.

“Hopefully, they will teach their parents,” Glass said.

Unity Volunteer Fire Department's open house was Saturday.

Chief Jeff Currie said the annual open house at the station also serves to show off trucks and equipment to residents and can serve as a recruitment tool.

“We always need members,” Currie said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or




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