October 3, 2012

Firemen push safety during Fire Prevention Week

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

Fire Prevention Week is coming Oct. 7-13 to Watford City. It is a time for the Watford City Fire Department to interact with the community and area children in order to stress prevention and safety.
“Prevention is key, and if we can promote and get that out to the public, it will save lives,” states Jeff Gronos, a volunteer fireman with the Watford City Fire Department.
This year, thanks to an anonymous donor, the Watford City Fire Department will be initiating a smoke alarm campaign, with the goal of distributing 100 smoke alarms to area residents.
“There should be no home in our community without a smoke alarm,” Gronos states. “If you don’t have a smoke alarm at all, come and get one. If your home doesn’t have enough alarms or if the alarms that your residence does have are outdated, come and get one.”
The smoke alarms will be available, while the supply lasts, at the Watford City Fire Station from 4 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, 11 and 12.
“The smoke alarms come ready to install, batteries included. We just ask that if someone picks up a smoke alarm that they promise to install it,” Gronos states. “In a perfect world, there would be a smoke alarm in every room in every home. But ideally, there needs to be one on every level and outside of each sleeping area.”
Additionally, Gronos states that homes with smoke alarms should replace their batteries twice a year. And hopefully, this week will be a reminder for everyone who has a working smoke alarm to check their batteries.
This is the first time the Watford City Fire Department has initiated anything like this. Gronos states that they hope people will take this opportunity to make their home more safe, and that Fire Prevention Week will remind them to be safety conscious in their homes with their children.
“Fire prevention is an important part of what we do,” Gronos states. “If we can get prevention and safety ingrained in area residents so when we arrive on scene, everyone is out of the house and in the yard, we don’t have to go in the house and search for anyone. They are safe and together.”
Another huge part of Fire Prevention Week is for the firemen to meet with area children.
Gronos states that the fire department will host a tour of the fire station on Tuesday for area children. On Wednesday and Thursday, the fire department will be at the Watford City Elementary School visiting classrooms and putting on demonstrations for each grade. Each child will also receive a fire prevention packet from the Watford City Fire Department.
“Part of the reason we focus so much on children during Fire Prevention Week is because fires are scary for children. But we, the firemen, can seem scary, too,” states Gronos. “We want the children to become familiar with us in our gear, so that if they find themselves in a scary situation, they will know to trust us.”
The Watford City Fire Department is also hosting the Chamber After Hours on Wednesday, Oct. 10 and welcomes adults in the community to come by the station and get to know the area firemen.