McLean kids — and anyone young at heart — will have the chance to operate a firehose this weekend at the McLean Volunteer Fire Department.
"It's mostly kids, but I don't think anybody would be turned away," Stephen Arner, the fire department president, said with a chuckle.
Fire stations across Fairfax County will hold open houses from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to crown the end of Fire Prevention Week.
If the weather cooperates, the McLean station usually sees a good crowd at the annual event, Arner told Patch.
Aside from shooting the firehose, firefighters will have a safety trailer set up, which children can go through and learn about fire safety in various rooms. You'll be able to watch a ladder truck in action, rescuers simulate cutting someone out of a car and check out various other pieces of equipment.
"You should come by and check it out," Arner said. "It's an opportunity where everyone is there and ready to receive the public. All the apparatus will be clean and they can see the station. And, it's fun."
The McLean station, at 1455 Laughlin Ave., has about 50 volunteers and enough paid staff to operate three 24-hour shifts with about 15 firefighters each.
In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department released the following piece of information:
- In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These involved 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
- On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires every day.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, followed by heating fires. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.
- Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.
- Unattended cooking is a factor in 34 percent of reported home cooking fires.
- Ranges accounted for 58 percent of home cooking fires. Ovens accounted for 19 percent.
- The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, primarily creosote from chimneys.
- Portable heaters, including wood stoves, were involved with one-third of home fires.
- Almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires with no working smoke alarms.
To learn more about fire prevention, go to www.firepreventionweek.org.