Harford County fire departments will be holding open houses throughout the month in recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, today through Saturday.
Open houses will be held to educate the community about fire safety and prevention, said Rhonda Polk, a firefighter and
emergency medical technician for the Level Volunteer Fire Company.
Although fire prevention is recognized nationally for one week, Ms. Polk said, "in Harford County, fire prevention is important all year long."
Delta Fire Company will have its open house Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bel Air Fire Company will hold its open house between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Oct. 15, Lt. Pam MacLean said. In addition to those events, the fire department will show videos and display fire equipment.
Joppa Magnolia Fire Company also will hold its open house from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 15. It will be held at Station One on Old Mountain Road South in Joppa.
Abington Fire Company has scheduled its open house for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 22 and Fallston Fire Company will have its open house between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Carrs Mill Road station, said Chief Mike Mather.
Jarrettsville Fire Company is having an open house but has not decided when.
Firefighters also have been visiting area schools to talk to children. "We want to reinforce that we consider them important in fire safety," Ms. MacLean said.
She will be going to 10 elementary schools throughout the week to set up and observe timed fire drills and talk to third-graders about preventing fires and reacting to emergencies.
Ms. Polk visited Bethel Christian Academy and Churchville Nursery School Thursday to talk to children about fire safety. On Friday, the nursery school toured the Level firehouse.
Ms. MacLean said Fire Prevention Week has a different theme every year. This year's theme is "Watch What You Heat. Prevent Home Fires" because statistics show that the majority of fires occur in the kitchen from cooking.
Level company held its open house Oct. 1 so the community could see how firefighters respond to emergencies. Darlington held its open house yesterday.
Level firefighters staged an extrication demonstration by cutting fireman out of a car using a tool that cuts metal known as the "jaws of life." Firetrucks responded to the "accident" with sirens wailing and lights flashing, Ms. Polk said. Later that day, the same car was ignited so the community could watch the fire department put out the fire.
The Maryland State Police brought to the open house the "Seatbelt Convincer," a machine that has a car seat hooked onto a ramp. The machine sends the seat down the ramp at 10 mph to simulate a crash. Police officers used a baby doll to demonstrate what would happen in an accident in which a child was not properly strapped into a car seat.
The Harford sheriff's office had a crime-prevention display and the Upper Chesapeake Health System showed children what would happen if they had to be taken to the emergency room.