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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Be alert: Fires are very real

  • - Fall has arrived and Fire Prevention Week isn't far behind.
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  • - Fall has arrived and Fire Prevention Week isn't far behind.
    Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6 through 12 and from Oct. 5 to 10 there will be various events going on in Honesdale to commemorate the week.
    Why October?
    Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed "more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres."
    The fire began on Oct. 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on Oct. 9, 1871.
    Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls.
    The Honesdale Fire Department, which is made up of four different companies, is planning events starting on Saturday, Oct. 5 with a fire expo.
    The fire expo is a kick off event of Fire Prevention Week and is a first for the department, according to Jerry Theobald, who is chairing for the upcoming events the Honesdale Fire Department is planning.
    He has been with Hose Company #1 for "over 30 years."
    The fire expo will take place from noon to 3 p.m. at the park and shop lot. The public will be able to tour the safety trailer, take fire extinguisher classes, see home exit fire drills, get a free smoke detector and refreshments and event see a live sprinkler demonstration.
    "It's amazing how many calls we go on where nobody has smoke detectors," Theobald said. "They aren't very expensive in the big picture."
    Having the sprinkler demonstration is also new.
    "We got a grant to be able to have the sprinkler display," Theobald said. "There are two rooms [in the safety trailer] and one will be lit on fire to show how the sprinkler works."
    He said they "aren't required" in residential buildings, but that they are required in new commercial buildings.
    "The sprinklers keep fires in check to get the fire departments a chance to get there before the fire gets too large," Theobald explained. "They are expensive to put in, but we do know they work."
    Theobald said that they wanted to step outside of the schools and also do community events to get them involved in fire safety.
    On Sunday, Oct. 6 there will be a fireman's memorial service at 6 p.m. at the Grace Episcopal Church. Theobald said that the memorial service is "open to the public."
    "Each year the memorial service is done at a different church, with a different priest or pastor," he said.
    On Monday at Tuesday, Oct. 7 and 8, the fire department will be at the Lakeside and Stourbridge Elementary Schools.
    Page 2 of 2 - They will see videos, get safety materials, see equipment and even get fire truck rides.
    "We have a lot to give away, too, like coloring books and fire hats, wristbands, buttons and more," Theobald stated. "We spend thousands a year on fire prevention week. Everything is taken out of our budget. We budget for fire prevention week each year. The Lion's Club also donates for it."
    On Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 8 and 9, there will be fire truck rides around Central Park from 6-7 p.m. and on Thursday, Oct. 10 there will be a fire department drill at 6:30 p.m. on 12th Street.
    Visit www.honesdalefiredepartment.com for more information.
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