Fire Safety House an important learning tool for youngsters

Blueberry Creek Community School students learn fire safety from miniature home.

Castlegar firefighters (L-R back) Ray Hackett

Castlegar firefighters Ray Hackett, Nick Ahlefeld, Brendan Oglow, Jordan Croteau and Duane Monsen spent some time with students from Blueberry Creek Community School on Thursday, Oct. 17.

The firefighters are currently touring local schools with the Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue’s Fire Safety House, a unique miniature home on wheels that is specially equipped to show children what to do in case of fire in their homes.

Thee two-story mock up has an upstairs bedroom, downstairs kitchen and hallways.

“We show the kids how to roll out of the bed and stay close to the floor in a fire,” said Castlegar deputy fire chief, Duane Monsen. “We can also fill the place with fake smoke [which is partly vegetable oil based] but we don’t do that with the little kids.”

While inside, children learn about feeling doors for heat before opening them if they smell smoke and other important fire safety tips.

The learning structure also has telephones spread throughout it. Children who dial 9-1-1 from them are connected to a “dispatcher” who records the information and sends help. From there, firefighters help the children make their way to an escape route that has a ladder, which they use to safely exit.

Monsen said the department will next take the travelling safety structure to Kinnaird Elementary this Tuesday and Robson Elementary on Thursday. More than 700 Junior Fire Safety for Kids booklets are handed out during the visits, containing important information on fire safety, including a DVD families can watch together.