Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Orland Fire Protection District Open House draws crowd

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Orland Fire Protection District Open House draws crowd

This year's annual Orland Fire Protection District Open House drew a large crowd of residents who came to show support for the firefighters and observe staged scenarios in which firefighters battle garage, home and building fires.

The firefighters also showed visitors to the Orland Fire Protection District's Training Center at 10728 W. 163rd Place on Saturday October 6 how home sprinkler systems can protect a homeowners property.

Two separate "rooms" were set up to simulate a home front room. In one room, there was no sprinkler and in another, there was a ceiling sprinkler set off by heat (not smoke) from the fire.

The first room and all of its furnishings burned up almost completely in less than 2 minutes. The second room fire was put out in 30 seconds.

"Sprinklers save lives and property. You can see how fast a fire can spread through a home. The smoke detector will alert you to a fire but the sprinkler will help put the fire out almost immediately after it starts preserving most of your heirlooms and your personal property," OFPD Chief Ken Brucki said.

The fire in the above simulation home front room burned up in less than 2 minutes.

Nearly one-third of American residents are unprepared to escape a fire if one were to occur in their homes, a study commissioned by the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) concludes. Most Americans, according to the study, believe that 6 minutes is more than enough time for them to gather their family and flee a fire if it were to occur in their homes.

But that time period is higher than what officials believe is the safe time zone and would put many families in jeopardy in a life threatening fire, Brucki said.

To help raise awareness, the Orland Fire Protection District teamed up with NFPA to showcase the problem during National Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012. The OFPD and NFPA urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” which is the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week.

In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

“One structure fire in a home was reported every 85 seconds in 2010,” says Chief Ken Brucki of the Orland Fire District.

Fire fighters also demonstrated how they confront a garage fire in a vehicle, and also displayed fire equipment and trucks. The open house ran from 10 am until 1 pm. 

During the event, Brucki, Fire and Life Safety Educator Nancy Mulvihill and Fire Officials also recognized young students who participated in the district's annual coloring contest, presenting trophies to each winner. They included: Emma Kanagy, Kylie Egan, Megan Shirley (Preschool); Matthew St. John, Ilana St. Clair, and Sophia Bonaminio (Kindergarten); Yeledez G. Montes, Jeremiah Somerville, Elise Durkin (1st Grade); Laici Zakrajsek, Kristina Paskis, and Brian Harms (2nd Grade); Theo Bueno, Naya Vlahos, Michael Kryston (3rd Grade); Joshua Hamill, Jocelyn Graczyk, Arian Hazemi (4th Grade); Amy Muhs (5th Grade); Deirde Flanagan, Victoria Marshall, Delaine Mikesell (6th Grade), Grace Wanucha, Hannah Spirakis, Kristen Bonner (7th Grade); and, Alex Fegan, Nicole Yaylayan, Zack Marshall (8th Grade).

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and the Orland Fire Protection District, contact Mulvihill at 708-873-2742. To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.

(Photos courtesy Ray Hanania and Urban Strategies Group)