Eastern event will increase fire prevention awareness

It marks 100th anniversary of the national October observance

The township fire department will host its annual fire prevention awareness night on Wednesday, Oct. 12, a free event at Eastern High School that will offer the community an opportunity to learn more about fire safety and potential household hazards.

The evening will include live demonstrations, fire extinguisher training, giveaways, a fire truck display and meetings with local firefighters. Information will be available to those interested in volunteering or otherwise assisting the fire department. 

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This year’s awareness event will mark the 100th anniversary of the National Fire Protection Association’s first Fire Prevention Week in October of 1922, when then-President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed it a national holiday. Prevention week is the longest-running public health observance in the country, observed annually in the first week of October. 

Voorhees firefighter and Chief Battalion Officer Mike Wharton said the prevention event offers a great opportunity for the community to learn about some of the training and safety tips firefighters are taught.

“For us, this is a night for the community to come out and learn fire safety tips for their homes,” he noted. “There will be rides, games, light refreshments and some hands-on (demonstrations) of actual fire equipment, so people can see how we operate. There’s also going to be some of our vehicles (fire trucks) on display that members will be allowed to check out and look inside of.” 

Wharton said that recognizing fire safety tips and precautions is always important, given that a lot of fires are unpredictable. This year, the number of actual township fires – based on normal year projections – is believed to be lower.

“There is really no way of saying when one fire is going to occur … You see small upticks around seasons and holidays, family’s gathering together for cooking, unattended party fires,” Wharton said.

“There are (events) that cause an uptick, but they may or may not cause a fire. It depends on how well people take care of it … ”

Fire prevention awareness night hours are 7 to 9 p.m.. The township department frequently posts tips and safety measures on its social media. For more information on the event or any changes prior to it, check the fire department website.

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