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Mini firehouse makes big return to Kelowna elementary schools

It was built by off-duty firefighters in the mid-1970s
Kelowna Fire Department’s Fire Safety House educational video. (Image City of Kelowna)

The Kelowna Fire Department’s (KFD) Fire Safety House is back on the road, bringing safety education to elementary students.

The familiar two-story mini house on wheels, complete with a smoke machine, was built by off-duty firefighters in the mid-1970s. Since then, it’s played a crucial role in fire safety education.

“Our Fire Safety House trailer has been on the road for years,” said Candace Friesen, fire and life safety educator with the KFD. “We are stopped regularly by parents who share their memories of going through the house when they were young.”

The Fire Safety House teaches students in Grades 1-3 essential fire safety skills, including:

  • Evacuating the home when the smoke alarm sounds
  • Crawling low under smoke
  • Checking doors for heat before opening
  • Meeting at a designated family spot outside

“We’re excited to continue this program and empower more children in our community with fire safety knowledge,” Friesen added.

There is a contest to encourage fire safety planning at home.

Students can submit the best home fire escape plan for a chance to win an iPad, courtesy of Best Buy Electronics.

The department aims to visit every elementary school in Kelowna by the end of 2024.

For fire safety resources, including creating a family fire escape plan and a video tour of the Fire Safety House, visit the City of Kelowna website.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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