Harrisonburg Fire Department marks fire prevention week with exhibits

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Harrisonburg Fire Department is set up at the Valley Mall in Harrisonburg all week long to help educate the public during Fire Prevention Week.

A preschool class watches as their teacher dresses up in fire fighter gear | Photo: WHSV

Lieutenant Erin Stehle with the Harrisonburg Fire Department said they are also hosting field trips with children in school to talk about fire safety.

"The things that they're learning here, the displays, if their parents aren't here then that opens up that door of communication so that when they do get home they're able to talk to their family about what they've learned," said Stehle.

The theme this week is "Not all heroes wear capes – plan and practice your escape." Stehle said the theme encourages children and their families to know two ways out of their home in case of a fire, come up with a meeting place outside and know how to open any tricky windows.

There are a variety of exhibits set up that include burned furniture taken from homes that caught on fire in Harrisonburg.

"That's our shock value. That gets people to slow down and often times we hear people being like, 'Oh my gosh, I need to check my smoke alarms,' and so if that's what helps the public, and that kind of sparks the thought of 'Hey, we need to go home and do that,' then that's what this week is all about," said Stehle.

There are exhibits that teach children about using matches and lighters, as well as looking for hot spots. There is also one that is focused on the Lois Lane fire that happened in March and caused catastrophic damage.

The exhibits are open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. until Friday evening. Members of the Harrisonburg Fire Department will be there to answer questions and talk with people who stop by.