October is fire safety awareness month. Bayside Volunteer Fire Department is hosting an open house on Saturday, featuring display booths and live fire safety demonstrations. The demonstrations will include lighting a Christmas tree on fire and placing a frozen turkey in a deep fryer, which causes an explosion.
“People can actually see it, versus read it on paper,” said Fire Capt. Rebecca Nelson, who works both at Bayside and at the Coast Guard fire departments.
According to Nelson, there are many aspects to fire safety, and the Bayside Fire Department is trained to respond to a wide variety of situations, including structure fires, boat fires, and search and rescue missions within the road system.
“We’re a jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” she said. “If it’s something that somebody can’t fix, we’ll be there.”
Fire prevention gives the station “an opportunity to positively interact and be proactive with the public,” she added.
This year’s fire prevention theme is “EDITH” — exit drill in the house — and firefighters are encouraging residents to practice leaving their home quickly in case of a fire.
The biggest fire safety concerns for Kodiak residents vary from person to person. Nelson said she hopes people will attend the event and learn about the concerns most directly affecting them.
The department offers free smoke detector inspections and installments in their area of service. The Coast Guard and City fire departments have similar programs, Nelson said.
The department also allows residents to borrow chimney sweeps free of charge, and recommends cleaning chimneys as least once a year.
“Fire prevention is more than just October,” Nelson said.
Bayside Fire Department is also encouraging homeowners to ensure their house number is visible from the street, so that emergency responders can quickly identify the home in case of an emergency.
The Bayside event will be held Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will include fire extinguisher training, offered at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. The event also will include food, games, prizes and engine truck displays.
A similar event will be held at the Coast Guard Fire Department Oct. 26 from 10 am. to 2 p.m. The Coast Guard event will also feature a live fire demonstration in a mock helicopter and a live exit drill to ensure people are comfortable finding their way out in case of a fire in their homes.