By Joe Beck - firstname.lastname@example.org
Warren County Fire and Rescue Services plans to spread the word about the importance of home fire safety precautions at its 5th annual Fire Prevention Kick-Off on Sunday.
Members from the nine fire and rescue departments throughout the county will be at Front Royal Station 1 at 221 N. Commerce Ave. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to demonstrate a variety of fire prevention techniques. The event is part of the natioinal 2012 Fire Prevention Week activities running Sunday through Oct. 13
Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico said the event will include two live demonstrations involving a bedroom mock-up and a family style room mock-up that will be set on fire.
"It's just a great opportunity to see the innocence of a single household kitchen match and how quickly it can turn into an unsurvivable situation," Maiatico said. "That's the wow factor we provide to the community to get them to take fire prevention seriously."
Maiatico said there have been 14 major residential fires in the county so far this year. He defined a major fire as one causing death, injury or displacement of occupants from their home. He said there have been four injuries this year, mostly from smoke inhalation. Several years have passed since the last fatal fire in the county, he said.
Maiatico said improper disposal of wood stove and fireplace materials is one of the most common causes of residential fires. Careless handling of construction materials also has caused several fires this year, he said.
Sunday's event will include tips on how to safely remodel homes, he said.
Other scheduled events include lessons on creation of a home fire escape plan; practicing exit drills in the home; proper stop, drop and roll techniques for extinguishing a fire on someone's body; the use and importance of smoke detectors; crawling low under smoke; and proper testing and maintenance of smoke alarms.
Maiatico said Sunday's event also gives fire and rescue workers a chance to meet the public and discuss their activities.
"In addition, it's a good opportunity for us to recruit new members to the fire and rescue system," he said. "It's not just a fire and safety event. It pretty much showcases our fire and rescue system."