Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity and the Wilmington Fire Department spent Tuesday night teaching local Wilmington Habitat homeowners the importance of fire safety. Habitat and the Fire Department hosted a fire safety event in Habitat’s subdivision, the Cottages at Cornerstone, to teach adults the proper way to handle a fire extinguisher and how to react in case of an emergency. Children were treated to fun fire-related activities and helped plan their family’s evacuation routes.
Engine 3 Captains D.L. McDowell, as well as Captain Ken Bogan and Fire Safety Instructors Meg Langston and Wendy Giannini-King orchestrated a fun-filled evening, teaching Habitat homeowners how to effectively extinguisher a fire, the best place in a home to store extinguishers and the importance of having an exit strategy in case of a fire.
Homeowners were given the opportunity to shoot the extinguishers at a controlled and manipulated fire simulator, used for practice by the fire department. No one under 18 years of age was allowed to handle the extinguishers, but children were allowed to sit on the fire truck and designate an assigned meeting place for the family in the event of an actual fire.
Cape Fear Habitat and the Wilmington Fire Department have worked together on fire safety issues since early 2008 when the department approached Habitat about a program to install indoor sprinkler systems in all Habitat homes.
Captain Bogan has worked closely with Cape Fear Habitat on fire safety precautions over the years and his efforts may not be appreciated anywhere more than in the Habitat home of Lameika Zanders. Just two months ago, a small fire broke out in Zanders’ home, but thanks to the indoor sprinkler system, the flames were contained to a single bedroom and everyone inside was able to escape unharmed.
“Sprinklers systems don’t save houses. They save lives, and the sprinklers did exactly what they were supposed to do,” said Esmond Anderson, Cape Fear Habitat’s Construction Manager.
Thanks to the collaboration between Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity and the Wilmington Fire Department, nearly all Habitat homes in New Hanover County since 2008 have been equipped with indoor sprinkler systems. Now, thanks in large part to Tuesday night’s exhibition, Habitat homeowners have also been equipped with extra fire safety measures.