CLAYTON — During its annual open house on Wednesday, October 19 the Clayton Fire Department offered a wide range of activities for local families.
Free food, cookies and drinks were featured along with tours of Fire House 85, ladder rides, a chance for kids to sit in fire engines and other activities.
A popular feature was a demonstration by member of the Clayton Police Department of what it is like to drive while under the influence. Special ‘DUI Goggles’ that simulate various levels if intoxication by distorting a person’s eyesight and ability to balance were used while participants tried to maneuver a golf cart through an obstacle course of orange traffic cones. The goggles were also used as people tried to walk a straight line during a simulated field sobriety test.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office attended the event along with the Dayton S.W.A.T. Team, which brought one of its armored tactical vehicles. The Huber Heights Fire Department brought its special pink fire engine that supports the Pink Ribbon Girls in their fight against breast cancer. Premier Health had its Mobile Intensive Care ambulance on display. Greenville Township brought a pair of Dalmatians for kids to pet and visit with.
Kids had the chance to operate a fire hose and shoot water at windows on a wood cutout of a house. Members of the fire and police departments interacted with visitors and answered questions on a wide range of topics or just simply engaged in friendly conversations.
The popular annual event is held every October, which is Fire Prevention Month. It is the time of year when local fire departments encourage residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms, which should also be tested on a monthly basis. Smoke alarms should also be replaced every 10 years.
Families are also encouraged to develop and practice a fire escape plan. Fires spread much more quickly today than they did 20 to 30 years ago because of the synthetic materials in homes. Escape plans are especially vital for children younger than 5-years-old and adults older than 70-years-old because they are at higher risk of dying in a house fire and often need assistance to escape.