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Fire Prevention: Past and Future

Rob Indrebo
by Rob Indrebo, Firefighter10/13/2017 10:30 am
Updated: 10/13/2017

It's National Fire Prevention Week, and we are gearing up for our annual open house Saturday.

However, fire prevention is more than a once-a-year activity in Shakopee. In the past year, Shakopee firefighters have visited numerous schools, daycares and even apartment buildings to reach as many people as we can. In 2016, our department had personal contact with more than 2,000 adults and 5,000 children. In the month of October alone, we try to visit all the kindergarten and third-grade classes in Shakopee schools, along with a Code Red project geared toward junior high students.

Fire Prevention Week

Statistics show that young people and older adults are the most vulnerable during a fire emergency. Our fire prevention efforts target those age groups by going to them where they live. For example, we received a grant of StoveTop FireStop canisters, which are used to put out stove fires (they stick to the underside of a stove hood via a magnet and pour extinguisher powder on a fire if it starts on the stove top), to host a fire prevention meeting in a senior housing complex. After the talk, most residents signed up for a home safety visit and each apartment received a free StoveTop FireStop installed on its stove.

During our home visits, we talk about the importance of having two ways out of every room and keeping pathways clear of trip hazards. Did you know most fires in Minnesota start in the kitchen? So please, watch what you heat. When you have something on the stove, stay close. Also, don’t put your home fire extinguisher in the kitchen. That room is most likely to catch on fire, so let’s move those extinguishers toward an exit door.

Also, while I’m on a roll about fire safety, please close your bedroom doors at night. A new national campaign - Close Before You Doze - by  the UL Fire Safety Research Institute emphasizes the importance of closing your doors (see video below). Did you know 50 percent of house fires happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.? Closing your doors before you hit the hay helps keep you safe because you have a few extra seconds to wake up, get your wits about you and escape from a home fire. Also, it’s important to have a smoke alarm in EACH bedroom and in the hallway outside the door.

 

You can find more home safety tips on our website. If you want to speak with a Shakopee firefighter about home or work fire safety, call us at 952-233-9570.