Fire Prevention Open House to feature family fun

Oct. 7 event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fire Station No. 5 on North Beneva Road

A firefighter demonstrates rappelling during the 2012 Open House. File photo

Family members of all ages are invited to enjoy what Sarasota County staff says will be a fun-filled and educational Fire Prevention Week Open House, an annual event sponsored by Sarasota County Emergency Services.

The open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Fire Station No. 5, which is located at 400 N. Beneva Road in Sarasota. Admission and refreshments will be free, a county news release notes.

Staff of the Sarasota County Fire Department is reminding the public that Every Second Counts — Plan Two Ways Out, which is this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, the release adds.

“During this year’s fire safety campaign, firefighters will be spreading the word about the importance of having a fire escape plan and always planning two ways out,” the release says. To help keep a household safe, members of the Sarasota County Fire Department encourage residents to do the following:

  • “Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit. Be sure to include accommodations for any disabilities family members may have,” such as blindness, hearing impairment and physical or mental handicaps, the release notes.
  • “Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.”
  • “Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.”
  • Make sure the address number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the Fire Department to find.
  • “Close doors behind you as you leave; this may slow down the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.”
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Make sure you have a safe meeting place agreed upon by everyone in your family, the release adds.
  • “Never go back inside a burning building.”

“Developing and practicing a home fire escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier in the release. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”

This year’s event at Fire Station No. 5 will include live fire demonstrations, games, fire trucks and rescue units and appearances by 911’s Red E. Fox and Terry Telephone, among other activities, the release notes. “Bring a camera for photo opportunities with firefighters,” it adds.

For more information, call the county Contact Center at 861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.

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