Every year, countless homes are destroyed or damaged by fire, often blazes that could have been prevented.
To assist the community and get the word out about fire prevention, the Clay Volunteer Fire Department will be holding its annual Fire Prevention Open House from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Oct. 9 at fire headquarters, 4383 Route 31, Clay.
The event is held in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week with the theme this year being "Stay fire smart! Don't get burned."
"It's a good time to get ready for winter - make sure batteries in smoke and [carbon monoxide] detectors are changed, if you have a wood burning stove, make sure it's cleaned," said Clay Fire Chief Dan Ford.
Ford said there have been a handful of incidents recently that involved untrained persons trying to help during fires, which is the exact opposite of what firefighters want when responding to a call.
"Don't try and be a hero," he said, adding that firefighters are trained and equipped for battling blazes. "We don't want to see anyone get hurt."
While material items usually can easily be replaced, you can't replace a loved one. With that in mind, Lt. Scott Patula and Capt. Pete Fabianek, co-fire prevention officers, have been busy putting together programs for the Oct. 9 event.
"We'll try to get the burn house in here so the children can go through there and know what to do when the house is full of smoke," Patula said.
A burn house is a mobile trailer that is filled with fog and used to teach children and adults how to navigate their way around a smoke-filled room to escape a burning structure.
Along with the burn house, there will be various agencies on hand providing information for the community, such as the search and rescue team, Onondaga County Dive Team, New York State Police, Jerome Fire Equipment, North Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Northern Onondaga Volunteer Ambulance.