HCVFA to Showcase New Safety House During Fire Prevention Month
The Harford Volunteer Fire & EMS Association will appear at events throughout October
Harford County, Md. – The Harford Volunteer Fire & EMS Association (HCVFA) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week (also celebrated as Fire Prevention Month) by showcasing its new Safety House at county firehouse events throughout October.
The mobile unit is outfitted inside like a home—but with the newest technological components to teach household fire safety, including touch screens, a heated door and water-based smoke to simulate a fire, and a sample fire alarm pull station.
“The best part is the automated kitchen where we have a touch screen and visitors answer questions,” said HCVFA Fire Prevention chair Ron Sollod. The system responds differently depending on the user’s answers, with flashing lights and other features. “It does animations, which is fun, and keeps everybody entertained.”
The HCVFA purchased the new trailer late last year from Mobile Concepts in Pennsylvania, and put it into service at the beginning of this year. The Safety House will now make its Fire Prevention Month debut, replacing the HCVFA’s old model that became outdated—with less automation, VHS tapes, and structural issues due to its age.
“It got to the point where it wasn’t safe to refurbish it,” Sollod said. However, it did have a newer frame and tires, so the HCVFA was able to pass it along to the sheriff’s department to create something new. “They took it down to the base and made a Hope Trailer, a drug program for adults,” he said.
The HCVFA expects to be able to use their new Safety House for a long time thanks to its wi-fi equipped technology, which can be updated as fire prevention standards change or as the HCVFA’s needs change.
“That’s the good thing about this—we can update it as needed,” Sollod said. Based on current demand, they are working to add additional programming geared toward adults and not just kids, he said.
Safety House Availability
The Safety House is available for community groups to book, at no cost, for educational events. The HCVFA will bring it to any suitable location and will tailor a training presentation based on the age, needs, and focus of the group. Audiences can range to anything from kindergarten classes, to churches, businesses, senior communities, libraries, and even the Civil Air Patrol.
“The most important thing is we talk on the level of the people we’re talking to,”
Sollod said, and they talk about how to be safe overall—not just in regard to the features of the Safety House.
There is nearly always something new for audiences to learn, he added, as the HCVFA presents information tailored to their latest life or work situation (such as aging, parenting, living alone, etc.) as well as new information in regard to rapidly evolving technologies such as electric scooters and cars.
Audiences are also able to get firsthand experience with various alarms, so they can hear the difference between carbon monoxide or smoke alarms, see a visual alarm for those who are hard of hearing, and learn the difference between when they’re going off, and when the battery’s dead. “They have different sounds, they have different tones, and even if you’re tone deaf you should be able to tell the difference,” Sollod said.
To experience the Safety House, visit the HCVFA at an upcoming event or request a visit for your group by contacting HCVFA Fire Prevention chair Ron Sollod at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming HCVFA Safety House events include:
- Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company House #1 – 12-4 p.m.
- Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company House #1 – 12-3 p.m.
- Level Volunteer Fire Company – 12-3 p.m.
- Fallston Volunteer Fire Company House #1 – 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Norrisville Volunteer Fire Company – 12-4 p.m.
- Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company House #3 – 12-3 p.m.
- Darlington Volunteer Fire Company House #1 – Starting at 4 p.m.
- Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company House #1 – 12-4 p.m.
- Susquehanna Hose – 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
About Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association
The Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association (HCVFA) is comprised of 12 combination EMS and all-volunteer fire organizations. Supporting these organizations are 1,500 personnel who responded to over 38,000 calls for fire and EMS service in 2021. These personnel are committed to protecting life, property and the environment, 24/7/365, for the 275,000 residents, workers, and visitors in Harford County and surrounding areas. To keep up with everything fire and EMS in Harford County, MD, or if you are interested in joining your local volunteer fire/ems organization, visit harfordvolunteer.com or follow Harford Volunteer on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.