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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John Fire Department will be kicking off Fire Prevention Week this year with a fun-filled barbeque and information session on Saturday.

Fire Prevention Week has been held every year by local fire departments across North America to help citizens learn how to prevent fires at the homes and workplaces. The event’s origins come from the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that burned over one quarter of that city to the ground.

This year’s theme is “Every second counts, Two Ways Out” Fire Inspector Alan Stobbe says that while many businesses have mandatory annual fire inspections, homes often don’t, and homeowners need to educate themselves on the exits they would use in the event of a house fire. He said that this year, the fire department will be visiting elementary school children during an assembly, and practice emergency evacuations with Grade 3 students in the Fire Prevention House, which firefighters fill with smoke to simulate a house fire.

The Fire Department will be holding its annual kick-off event at the Home Hardware parking lot this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Stobbe says that the event will feature a bouncy castle, barbecue, the Fire Prevention House exhibit, and the Fire Department’s newest fire truck.

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