Safety and Community Education Programs
Public Education Coordinator:Sierra McKoy
(919) 560-4242, ext. 19242
Community fire education is one of the most vital areas in the fire service. Through education and awareness, individuals learn to recognize fire hazards and correct them. The Durham Fire Department strives to share the basics of fire prevention with residents in order to prevent tragedies. We work to achieve this goal by offering fire and life safety programs and resources for children, adults, seniors, teachers, and the general public. These programs create a stronger link between the fire department and the community.
All programs and community events are available upon request. A 30-day advance notice is required.
The "Remembering When" program is designed to prevent and/or reduce falls often experienced by seniors. The program also addresses fire safety concerns specific to the senior population. Presentations can be tailored for individuals or large groups.
Junior Fire Marshal
The Junior Fire Marshal Program offers local youth an opportunity to learn what it takes to have a career in the fire service. The Durham Fire Department, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the N.C. Department of Insurance — Office of the State Fire Marshal team up annually to offer youth ages 11-15 a chance to learn about fire safety and various career options in the fire service. During the four-day course, participants receive training including:
• fire extinguisher training
• hazardous materials training
• fire rescue demonstrations
• fire inspection and fire investigation training
• emergency medical services instruction and blood pressure screening demonstrations
• Home Escape Maps (Exit Drills In The Home--E.D.I.T.H.)
• Firefighters are my Friends
• Heating Equipment (Adult tools)
Alarm for Life
The Durham Fire Department will install a smoke detector in your home free of charge. This special service has been designed to meet the special needs of senior residents and low income households, but is provided to anyone in need.
Complimentary Home Evaluations
Fire personnel will inspect your residence or business to discuss fire safety, recommend suggestions based on the visit, and assist with planning an evacuation route in the event of a fire. Topics discussed include:
• Cooking Safety
• Smoke Alarm Safety
• Home Escape Plans
• Heating Equipment
Fire Extinguisher Training
The Durham Fire Department offers free hands-on fire extinguisher training for businesses, homeowners, organizations, and any adult interested in learning the benefits of fire extinguishers and their use. Fuel and extinguishers must be provided.
Fire Station Tours
The Durham Fire Department provides fire station tours to individuals, civic groups, and classes. Individuals may have a look at fire equipment, apparatus, and living areas of the fire station. Fire safety information of your choice from one of the above topics is also shared.
Winter Safety Tips
Wood burning Stoves and Fireplaces
• Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used for some time.
• Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
• Keep glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening, to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out, unwanted materials from going in, and help prevent the possibility of burns to occupants.
• Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal can give off lethal amount of carbon monoxide.
• Keep flammable materials away from your fireplace mantel. A spark from the fireplace could easily ignite these materials.
• Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close you damper with hot ashes I the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire to heat up again and will force toxic carbon monoxide into the house.
• Be sure your heater is in good working condition. Inspect exhaust parts for carbon buildup. Be sure the heater has an emergency shut off in case the heater it tipped over.
• Never use fuel burning appliances without proper room, venting. Burning fuel (coal or kerosene or propane, for example) can produce deadly fumes.
• Use only the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer. Never introduce a fuel into a unit not designed for that type of fuel.
Additional Safety Tips
• If you use an electrical heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry the amp load.
• Avoid using electrical space heaters in bathrooms, or other areas where they may come into contact with water.
• If windows are used as emergency exits in your home. Practice using them in the event fire should strike. Be sure that all the windows open easily. Home escape ladders are recommended.