Los Alamos Fire Department Safety Division Chief Joseph Baca, right, accepts a proclamation Tuesday evening from Los Alamos County Councilor Morrie Pongratz declaring the week of Oct. 7-13 as Fire Prevention Week in Los Alamos County. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes, Safety Division Chief Joseph Baca and Marisol Padilla of LAFD Community Outreach were on hand Tuesday evening at the regular meeting of the Los Alamos County Council for recognition of Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7-13.
After accepting a proclamation from Councilor Morrie Pongratz, Chief Baca said National Fire Prevention Week is observed each year the week of Oct. 9 in the County but that LAFD extends it to the entire month of October.
“The reason we do that is that we try to reach all the elementary and preschools. We go out there and teach the kids about fire safety,” he said.
Chief Baca said some of the other events planned throughout the month include open houses at Station 3 in White Rock (5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 10) and Station 4 across from the golf club (5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 12).
“We will have activities for the kids but we are also encouraging adults also to visit our firehouses and see where we live for 48 hours at a time and see some of our new equipment,” he said.
The proclamation by the Council reads as follows:
WHEREAS: Los Alamos County is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all who live, work or visit our community, and fire is a serious public safety concern; and
WHEREAS: Individuals are at greatest risk from fires inside their home, with the majority of fire deaths in the U.S. – four out of every five – occurring in homes each year; home fires killed 2,735 people in the U.S. in 2016, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and fire departments in the U.S. responded to 352,000 home fires; and
WHEREAS: The fire death rate per 1,000 home fires reported to U.S. fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980; and
WHEREAS: Los Alamos County residents can stay safe from the threat of a home fire by examining places where fires can start and working to eliminate those hazards; and
WHEREAS: Smoke alarms are valuable for early alerts about fires, and should be installed in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of a home; working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires in half; and
WHEREAS: First responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and related injuries through prevention and education; it has been shown that occupants who plan and practice a fire escape plan are more likely to survive a home fire; and
WHEREAS: This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere!” effectively serves to remind our residents to take personal responsibility for increasing their safety from home fires;
NOW, THEREFORE, on behalf of the Council of the Incorporated County of Los Alamos, I do hereby proclaim the Week of October 7 – 13, 2018 as “FIRE PREVENTION WEEK” in Los Alamos County.
I encourage our citizens to be aware of their surroundings, look for available ways out in the event of a fire or other emergency, respond to a smoke alarm by exiting the structure immediately, and to participate in events and activities about home fire prevention and escape plans being sponsored by the Los Alamos Fire Department.