Members of the Estevan Fire Rescue Service will be out in the community for Fire Prevention Week, which is Oct. 7-13.
Their activities in the community will be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. The annual smoke alarm program will be Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from about 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with firefighters asking homeowners for permission to enter their homes to test the smoke alarms.
“We’re going to take a look and see if there’s working smoke alarms in their home,” said Fire Chief Dale Feser. “If they do not, we’ll install one free of charge. If the battery is dead, of course we’ll replace the battery as well.
“If we do inspect the detectors and they’re older than 10 years of age, we will also replace that with a current model so that it offers everybody detection in the event of a fire.”
Most people have working smoke alarms in their homes, he said. There has been a large public education campaign about the importance of smoke alarms, and people know that in October, it’s time to check those alarms.
“There are still some places that don’t have working smoke alarms, so we’re very happy to get in there to provide that early detection in the event of an emergency,” said Feser.
As for Wednesday night, the fire department will be part of Emergency Services Appreciation Night at the Power Dodge Estevan Bruins hockey game. He expects it will tie up the firefighters throughout the evening, and he even went as far as to predict the Bruins would defeat the visiting La Ronge Ice Wolves.
The fire department will have a display table set up in the front foyer with other emergency services in the community.
“We’ll have fire prevention materials that we can give out to members of the public if they so wish,” said Feser.
Firefighters will also be selling 50-50 tickets for the fundraising initiative that the Estevan Firefighters Association is organizing.
The fire department will also deliver packages to local schools so that teachers can provide public safety messages to students.
Feser expects the fire department will also have its regular calls during the week, and he hopes the firefighters will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families.
“When you’re doing a call a day or two calls a day, that’s still pretty taxing on the firefighters and their families and their jobs,” said Feser.
This year’s theme is Look, Listen and Learn: Be Aware Fire can Happen Anywhere. It focuses on some of the fire hazards that people might not be aware of, and it offers advice on how to mitigate those risks.
“You’re going to look for the places where a fire can start, listen for the sound of the smoke alarm and learn two ways out of each room,” said Feser. “That’s something we’ve been teaching children for quite some time.”
It’s important to know a second way out in the event of a fire, in case the primary exit is blocked.