Merrimack Fire Department to hold open house

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, when all fire departments try to educate the public in ways to prevent needless loss of life from fire.

This is the 93rd year that fire departments around the country have observed this event, making it the longest-
running public health and safety observance on record.

As part of the Merrimack Fire Department’s observance for Fire Prevention Week, it will conduct its annual open house from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5.

The National Fire Prevention Association’s theme this year is "Don’t wait – check the date! Replace smoke alarms every 10 years." The key message is to replace any smoke detector that is 10 years old or older.

Most detectors have a date printed on a label on the rear of the detector. If there is no date, it is most likely older than 10 years old and should be replaced, as the detector loses its sensitivity over time and could be no longer working even though the test switch sounds an alarm.

Roughly half of the home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep, and a working smoke detector can be the difference between life and death.

Also, take the time to check your CO detectors. Most CO detectors are only rated to last five to seven years, so check the manual to ensure they get replaced when needed.

The chance of dying in a house fire without working smoke detectors is twice that of with working smoke detectors. Many people don’t test their smoke alarms as often as they should.

When there is a fire, smoke spreads quickly. You need working smoke alarms to give you time to get out. Test yours every month!

The Merrimack Fire Department’s open house is its way of showing Merrimack residents who it is and what it does, as well as demonstrating emergency capabilities, equipment, apparatus, stations and personnel.

This has become an event enjoyed by many Merrimack families, and the department’s normal attendance is 400-500 visitors

Open house activities will include fire extinguisher demonstrations, an automobile extrication demonstration with the "Jaws of Life" and several EMS demonstrations, a live fire demonstration showing the differences between a sprinkled and non-sprinkled room, and automobile air bag safety demonstrations.

There will be tours of Central Fire Station and all of the department’s fire apparatus and equipment. Gunny the Merrimack Police Department K-9 give a demonstration of his skills, and the state fire marshal’s accelerant-sniffing K-9 will also be in attendance.

The fire safety smoke trailer will be on-site to show children how to escape from a home fire. Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey Bear will make appearances.

A new addition this year will be a firefighter’s obstacle course for the kids to try out. Staff members from the department’s Career, Call Fire, Call EMS and Explorer divisions will be available to answer questions.

Refreshments will be provided by several local restaurants.

For more information, contact Fire Marshal John Manuele.

Submitted by Merrimack Fire Department