It is Fire Prevention Week which is a time for all of us to think about fire safety. COVID-19 cancelled in-person events this year, but the Coon Rapids Fire Department still has some important information to pass along.
When it comes to teaching lessons about the dangers of fires, firefighters have it down to a science.
“This week's theme is “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” said Todd Williams who is Fire Marshal for the city of Coon Rapids.
Williams said the goal of Fire Prevention Week is meant to help families reduce fire danger in the home. The kitchen is where we cook and use the oven and stove. Nationwide, cooking is the number one cause of home fires.
“So far in 2020, in Coon Rapids we’ve had approximately 30 fires already,” said Williams, “caused by cooking, unattended cooking.”
The firefighters usually spend Fire Prevention Week visiting each elementary school, in the city, and sharing their fire safety message in unique and creative ways.
"If you have to leave the room while you're cooking, what should you do?” It was a question that Fire Inspector Robert Erickson asked a group of fourth and fifth graders last year "Turn the stove off, right?"
But this year the pandemic prevented firefighters from going into schools.
“The safety message is going to be missed and the kids are going to miss our dancing,” Williams said.
Gone too are the Saturday fire station open house events at all three fire stations in the city.
One of the things for young kids to do at the open house is spray water from the fire hose, with the help of a sturdy hand from one of the firefighters.
"The kids like that, plus they get a plastic fire helmet and a sticker," said Williams.
The wide open field in front of Fire Station 3 is where Allina Health normally lands their emergency medical helicopter during the fire station open house. It’s a chance for people to get a close up look at one of the first responders, who partner with fire departments to transport burn victims to Mercy Hospital.
"It's going to be missed by the firefighters a lot,” Williams lamented. “Hopefully next year we can get everything back to normal.”
The Coon Rapids Fire Department is working on an educational fire safety video series with neighboring departments that will be shown to students sometime next year.