Haddon Fire Co. 1 will celebrate the 100th anniversary of national Fire Prevention Week at an Oct. 13 open house in the borough department’s headquarters at 15 North Haddon Ave,.
It’s the first time the long-standing annual event has been held since 2019. It will feature two live vehicle extrication demonstrations at 7:45 and 8:30 p.m., tours of the fire truck and ambulance, hands-on fire extinguisher demonstrations and a look at a mock fire. General hours are 7 to 9 p.m.
“We are very excited to welcome families back to the firehouse,” said Chief Lou Frontino. “We have a lot of fun activities and giveaways planned.”
In addition to members of the Haddon company, there will also be members of Cherry Hill’s Deer Park Fire Company who will bring free hot dogs. There will be a number of fire-prevention handouts and information on fire safety.
Frontino said one of the takeaways he hopes people have from the open house will be advice on home fire drills.
“How to get out safe and have the families get together,” he explained, “even if it’s once every quarter, and plan out the escape, and let the kids and everyone know where they’re going to meet outside so they can tell (firefighters) that everyone is accounted for.”
Frontino noted that if someone is on the second floor and can’t get down because of a fire, he or she should block the gap between door and floor with clothes or towels and stand by the window rather than hiding in a closet or under a bed, so they are visible when firefighters show up. he also suggested banging on a window or opening it and making noise to draw the attention of firefighters.
“We need to see you visible,” Frontino said. “In a situation (where you can’t get to the exit because of a fire), close the bedroom door, get to the window and we’ll get to you.”
In emergencies such as car accidents where vehicle extrication may be necessary, Frontino recommends calling 911 rather than the firehouse, because the information would still have to be relayed to the Camden County Communication System.
Frontino said the National Fire Protection Association, which sponsors Fire Protection Week, recommends a response time of two minutes from the time a call is dispatched to the time the first truck announces that it is responding with a minimum of three people.
Haddon Fire Company No. 1 continues to seek volunteers. Earlier this month, officials approved a new stipend program to incentivize volunteers for the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, a way to decrease the time it takes to respond to calls during those hours.
To learn more about becoming a volunteer with the company, call (856) 429-4308.