Firehouses to Welcome Visitors During Safety Week

The Wheeling Fire Department will be reaching out to local residents about fire safety in the kitchen by hosting open houses in conjunction with national Fire Prevention Week.

Assistant Chief Ed Geisel Sr. said the department will kick off fire safety week from 1-4 p.m. Sunday with an open house at the department’s headquarters in Center Wheeling. Additional open houses are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the department’s outlying firehouses.

With cooking being the leading cause of home fires, the theme for the week is “Prevent Kitchen Fires.”

Geisel said they will offer demonstrations for anyone interested in learning about fire prevention in the kitchen. He said firefighters will demonstrate different scenarios with the use of the department’s fire safety house.

He said of the 180 fires that occurred in the city of Wheeling in 2012, 85 were cooking fires contained to the stove.

“We can discuss and teach people about kitchen fires … about the preventive and safety measures they can take in the kitchen … and what to do if one should occur,” said Geisel.

Geisel said the open house will also provide an opportunity for the public to familiarize themselves with the department. Wheeling Fire Chief Larry Helms said the department wanted to give area residents a chance to see what the fire prevention bureau has to offer and meet the firefighters that are serving their neighborhood.