Emergency services makes point with flames
Judging by the gasps from the crowd Red Deer Emergency Services made their fire safety point on Saturday.
The lesson — don’t pour water on a grease fire — was demonstrated in spectacular fashion.
One can full of water dumped by fire-medic Josh Mah using a long pole for safety was enough to create a huge fireball that turned the demonstration into an inferno in little over a minute.
“That surprised me,” said Jonathan Landaverde, 10.
When confronted with a grease fire he will reach for a cookie sheet or lid to cover the flames, he said. No water for him.
Daylen Stoller, 11, was amazed at how quickly the fire engulfed the kitchen and left an armchair scorched down to its springs in minutes.
He too will not be leaving any grease unattended on the stove, and definitely won’t douse a fire with water.
The demonstration didn’t only make an impression on the youngsters present. Stoller’s grandfather Dwayne Sluggett also came away with a new appreciation for how fast a small grease fire can turn serious.
“I thought it was amazing how fast the fire took off once you hit it with water,” he said.
“I’m surprised that guy didn’t get a little burned himself,” he said, of Mah, who was quick to step back after dumping the water.
The fire prevention open house drew hundreds from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Youngsters got a chance to check out the ambulances and fire trucks and there were free burgers, face painting and other activities.
Fire prevention officer Shane Dussault said the event is all about reminding people about the simple things they can do to keep their loved ones safe.
Number one: make sure smoke alarms are in place — and operating.
“It’s such an obvious thing. But we go to so many fires where the smoke alarms are taken down.”
Often, people disconnect them because they go off so often because they are too close to cooking areas or bathrooms, where shower steam sets them off.
Dussault said people just need to place them in a better spot or can go to photoelectric versions that are less sensitive to steam.
When it comes to cooking, the motto is “Stand by your pan.” Most house fires in North America are started by cooking pots and pans left unattended, he said.