The Parksville Volunteer Fire Department, shown in this year’s Canada Day parade, will host its annual open house Sunday, Oct. 15 to celebrate national Fire Prevention Week. — NEWS file photo

Parksville Fire Department opens doors to public

Annual open house Oct. 15 to include demos, tours

Each year, the Parksville Volunteer Fire Department participates in Fire Prevention Week and again this year will open its doors to the public on Sunday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fire Prevention Week will be recognized from Oct. 8-14. The open house takes place at the fire hall, located at 160 Jensen Ave. W.

Residents are encouraged to drop by for a little fun and to learn some possible lifesaving strategies for fire prevention.

Firefighters will be giving tours of the station, including trucks and equipment so be sure to bring your camera.

The RCMP will be on site with a child restraint technician to conduct inspection of car seats for the public. If people would like their car seat inspected, please bring the car manual as well as the restraint manual so these can be referenced during the inspection. Also, the seat should be installed in the vehicle prior to arriving at the fire hall.

The theme for this year’s fire prevention week is Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!

• In a fire, seconds count and can mean the difference between residents escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy. This theme reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan:

• Draw a map of your home with members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.

• Practise your home fire drill twice a year; one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home and practise using different ways out. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.

• Make sure the 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 the spread of smoke, heat and fire.

• Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back into a burning building.

Only a small percentage of people know the age of their smoke alarms or how often they should be replaced. The PVFD works to educate the public about basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety:

• There should be working smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement.

• Test your smoke alarm every month!

• Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home. To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; alarm should be replaced TEN years from that date.

• When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. You need working smoke alarms to give you time to get out.

The Parksville VFD would like families to focus on prevention by planning ahead and integrating a few simple fire safety behaviours into everyday lives. By paying attention and eliminating potential fire hazards in your home, you can make a difference that will prevent or reduce fire related injuries, deaths and property damage.

RECRUITMENT: Reminder to residents – the PVFD is looking for enthusiastic men and women to become volunteer firefighters. For information stop by the fire department, call 250-248-3242 or visit www.pvfd.ca.

— City of Parksville submission