Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst told KDHL listeners today (Monday) there will be no open house this year during Fire Prevention Week.  Chalk it up to another COVID-19 wipeout.  Just like county fairs and various community celebrations.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has been the official sponsor of the observance for more than 95 years.

This year's theme is, "Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen."  Dienst says firefighters have been making videos for the school kids to watch because COVID-19 does not allow them to go to the classroom.

"Last week we turned our firefighters into actors.  Including myself.  With the help of Troy Temple we will put the videos on YouTube, a flash drive or all of the above. So if there are classes that we can't go into, which is a high probability, then we can give them this video.   It'll cover all the same stuff and then some that we did when we did them live over the last few years."

He added, "We've added some things like actually having children roll out of bed and demonstrate crawling over to the door.  Demonstrating stop, drop and roll.  We are planning for not being able to go to the schools and not planning on having our annual open house."

I asked if the fire trucks could still visit the schools and Dienst says they have not been contacted.  He speculated the schools have been concentrating more on delivering lessons and keeping people safe.  He did comment the department would be willing to work with masks on outdoors but said that was totally up to each school.

This year's Fire Prevention Week focus on cooking fires is not a surprise.  Cooking fires are the leading cause of U.S. home fires.  Nearly half (49%) of all home fires involve cooking equipment.  Unattended cooking is the top cause of kitchen fires.