A Thursday evening open house at Fire Station No. 3 in Oak Ridge included a live fire demonstration of a typical living room fire, which allowed those who attended to watch a fire progress from start to “flashover” at 1,150 degrees.
The burn cells constructed for these type of demonstrations are located at Fire Station No. 3 and were built under a partnership agreement with the University of Tennessee’s National Forensic Academy and the Oak Ridge Fire Department as a teaching tool for fire development studies. The live fire demonstration allowed attendees to see firsthand how quickly a fire develops and the tremendous amount of heat released from a burning sofa and chair. The live fire demonstration illustrated the need for smoke alarms and exit drills to save lives when every second counts, a press release said.
The Oak Ridge Fire Department had the open house to kick off the 2013 Fire Prevention Public Education Program. Guest speakers included Tennessee Sen. Randy McNally, Rep. John Ragan, and State Fire Marshal Gary West. Anderson County Commissioner Jerry Creasy and State Public Fire Education Coordinator Claire Marsalis also attended.
After a short presentation on fire suppression activities in Oak Ridge, Assistant Chief Josh Waldo premiered a new fire education video produced by the Oak Ridge Fire Department showcasing a local family who survived a fire in their home using the Home Escape Plan they developed after their youngest son was taught the Exit Drills In The Home, or EDITH, program by the fire department public education instructors. This video, “Be Prepared: Home Escape Plans Save Lives,” will be distributed to more than 3,000 students from kindergarten to fifth grade in Oak Ridge this year to encourage parents to develop exit plans in their home.
Tennessee is in the top five states in the nation in fire deaths, the press release said. State Fire Marshal Gary West said there are more than 98,000 homes in Tennessee without working smoke alarms. The State Fire Marshal’s office, in conjunction with Tennessee fire departments, has installed more than 35,000 smoke alarms free of charge since November 2012. The Oak Ridge Fire Department will install and inspect smoke alarms free of charge and assist residents with developing a home escape plan.
Oak Ridge residents may call Donna Satterfield at (865) 425-3520 to schedule an installation or inspection of smoke alarms in their home. ORFD will also provide and change your smoke alarm battery free of charge. Everyone needs two ways out of their home. ORFD encourages citizens to develop and practice home escape plans.
For more information or a copy of the new video, contact ORFD Chief Kerley at (865) 755-5364 or Waldo at (865) 382-7267.