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Community Risk Reduction

What is Community Risk Reduction (CRR)?

CRR is a major part of what we do at SVFD. We don’t just respond to emergencies; we take proactive steps to help prevent them. Thats what CRR and Prevention is all about. Our prevention division follows the “Five E’s” of Community Risk Reduction. Those E’s are engineering, enforcement, emergency response, economic incentive, and education. See bellow to view the classes and programs we offer.

Smoke Alarm Program

SVFD offers free Home Fire Safety Visits to residents in our service area. In as little as 30 minutes, we’ll evaluate current fire safety conditions in your home including smoke alarms, fire hazards, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, and more.

We’ll install free* battery-operated smoke alarms (if needed) including alarms for the hearing impaired. You’ll receive important home fire safety information to build your knowledge, reduce your risk and feel safer in your own home!

Home Fire Safety Visits are scheduled twice a month during two time slots. Be sure to register for a day and time slot when you’ll be home and ready to welcome our SVFD personnel for the safety visit!

  • Second Wednesday of each month
    • AM – 9 am – Noon
    • PM – 1 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Third Saturday of each month
    • AM – 9 am – Noon
    • PM – 1 pm – 4:30 pm

Visit our events page or call 509-892-4153 to register for a Home Fire Safety Visit. We conduct up to 10 visits per day. Registration closes seven days prior to the scheduled event date.*Smoke alarms funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), State Farm®, and community donations.

Falls Prevention and Grab Bars

The number one type of call that Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) responds to is FALLS. In fact, falls continue to be a national public health issue. Falls are a major threat to health and independence of older adults, people aged 65 and older. Each year in the United States, nearly one-third of older adults experience a fall. About one out of ten falls among older adults result in serious injury, such as a hip fracture or head injury that requires hospitalization. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults.

As you age, your risk for falls increases. However, falls are not a normal part of aging. Many falls can be prevented, especially if you know where to look. By making some simple changes, you can lower your chances of falling.

Five things YOU can do to prevent falls:

1. Talk to your healthcare provider about falls or unsteadiness.

2. Keep moving. Try to get 150 minutes of physical activity every week.

3. Get your vision and hearing checked annually and eat a nutritious diet.

4. Talk to your family. They are a source of support.

5. Keep your home safe. Remove tripping hazards, use appropriate assistive devices, and have good lighting.

If you want to check your risk for falling, you can complete the National Council on Aging’s Falls Free CheckUp. Once you complete this survey, you can take the results to your primary care practitioner to discuss your fall risk.

Falls prevention is a team effort. In partnership with MultiCare Deaconess and Valley Hospitals, SNAP, Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW), and Community Living Connections, we can provide residents with installed grab bars.

To promote home safety, if you or a family member would benefit from wall grab bars, please contact Community Living Connections: Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington, 509-960-7281, or via email at action@altcew.org. You can also call the Spokane Valley Fire Department for information at (509) 928-1700.

Thermal Fuses

Most home oxygen fires are caused by patients smoking while on oxygen. According to the American Burn Association:

  • Smoking is the leading cause of burns, fires, and deaths involving home oxygen.
  • 90% of smokers who were burned while using home oxygen suffered facial burns.
  • On average, one person dies every four days from smoking while on home oxygen.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), medical oxygen can cause material to ignite more easily and make fires burn at a faster rate than normal. It can make a fire burn faster and hotter. If medical oxygen or an oxygen tank is used in the home, the amount of oxygen in the air, furniture, clothing, hair, and bedding can increase, making it easier for a fire to spread. This means that there is a higher risk of fires and burns.

There are several simple safety tips to consider if you or someone in your family is using medical oxygen at home. The NFPA suggests:

  • A patient on oxygen should not smoke.
  • Never smoke where medical oxygen is used.
  • Post “No Smoking” and “No Open Flames” signs inside and outside the home to remind residents and guests not to smoke.
  • Keep oxygen cylinders at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) from a heat source, open flames, or electrical devices.
  • Body oil, hand lotion, and items containing oil and grease can easily burn. Keep oil and grease away from where oxygen is in use.
  • Never use aerosol sprays containing combustible materials near the oxygen.
  • Where medical oxygen is in use, never use a sparking toy, an open flame such as a match or lighter, a fireplace or stove, or any other device fueled by gas, kerosene, wood, or coal.

Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) received a FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety grant last fall to help save the lives of those citizens who smoke while on medical oxygen.  The grant dollars, along with a purchase directly from MultiCare Valley Hospital, will help SVFD acquire thermal fuses or “Firebreak” devices that will be provided to individuals on in home (medical) oxygen to help reduce fire fatality and burn risks.  The thermal fuse can isolate the oxygen flow and extinguish a fire tracking back along the oxygen delivery tubing. These devices are installed directly in the oxygen delivery circuit and at the interface with the oxygen supply, delivery equipment.

If you or a family member need a thermal fuse installed in your home, please click here and complete the request form.

Fire Extinguishers

Keeping one or more fire extinguishers in key locations around your home is an important fire safety practice.

Types of Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers come in five classifications, depending on the type of fire. Some extinguishers are rated for multiple types of fire. It is important to use the right extinguisher or it can be dangerous.

  • Class A – for fires that contain ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth, plastics and rubber
  • Class B – for fires that contain flammable liquids like oil, grease and gasoline
  • Class C – for fires involving energized electrical equipment such as tools or appliances
  • Class D – for fires involving combustible metals (used in factories)
  • Class K – for fires involving vegetable-based oils used in deep frying (used in commercial kitchens)
  • Class A-B-C – a multi-purpose extinguisher ideally suited for residential use in kitchens and garages

Be sure to purchase a fire extinguisher that is tested by an independent testing laboratory (“UL” marking). And, make sure you are physically able to handle the extinguisher. Some models are heavy and may be hard to operate and hold at the same time.

Using a Fire Extinguisher
Know how to operate the extinguisher quickly. You won’t have time to read the instructions during an emergency! When using a fire extinguisher, remember the word P.A.S.S.– Pull. Aim. Squeeze. Sweep.

  • Pull the pin. Some extinguishers require unlocking a latch or pressing a puncture lever.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle. This releases the extinguishing agent.

  • Sweep side to side at the base of the fire. Continue until the fire appears to be out.

 

When NOT to Fight a Fire

If any of these conditions exist, shut the door to keep the fire contained then get out and wait for the fire department:

  • If the fire could block your only exit
  • If the fire is spreading too quickly
  • If the fire is too large
  • If your house is filling with smoke
  • If you are unsure how to use your fire extinguisher
  • If your instincts simply tell you not to

 

Additional Considerations

  • Only use a fire extinguisher after you have called 911 and all members of your home have been alerted to the fire. Make sure you can stay low to avoid the smoke and that the fire is not blocking your only exit.
  • Most fires start small. If the fire is contained to a single object, such as a trash can, you may want to try using a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Remember you only have seconds – a fire burning for just one minute will have tripled its original size.
  • Use a lid to cover a frying pan fire. This cuts off the source of oxygen and chokes out the fire.
  • Keep your fire extinguisher in an easily accessible area. Make sure it is not blocked by anything that would keep you from grabbing it quickly in an emergency.

For more information, call the SVFD Prevention Division at 892-4153.

In Our Schools

     Creating opportunities to educate children about fire safety is a priority for the Spokane Valley Fire Department. We teach fire safety to children to help keep families safe and be better prepared for a fire crisis. Fires in the home are the number one killer of children under age 14 in the United States. Most fires occur at night and spread rapidly through the home, leaving as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Partnering with local schools to teach fire safety is a win-win for the schools, students and Spokane Valley Fire Department!

 

JUNIOR FIRE MARSHAL – 2ND GRADE

Each year SVFD visits all of the elementary schools in our service area specifically speaking to second grade students about becoming Junior Fire Marshals. We teach children that they are big enough for fire safety. Firefighters visit second grade classrooms to show a video and speak with children about fire safety. Students are given a “Junior Fire Marshal homework” assignment to talk about and assess home fire safety with their family. Firefighters return to the school the following week to reinforce fire safety messages and reward students who completed their homework with a hands-on tour of a SVFD fire engine. We hope you will support our efforts and encourage your child to practice fire safety skills in your home.

 

SOUND OFF WITH THE HOME FIRE SAFETY PATROL – 3RD GRADE

Each year SVFD visits all the elementary schools in our service area to give third grade students the opportunity to participate in the Sound Off with the Home Fire Safety Patrol program. This program was developed by specialists at Young Minds Inspired and national fire safety experts. It includes three activities that get students and their families involved in testing their home smoke alarms, checking for potential fire dangers in the home, and planning how to escape in the event of a home fire.

 

SCIENTIFIC METHOD FOR JUVENILES – 7TH GRADE

With a goal of reducing the number of fires set by adolescents, SVFD delivers a fast-paced, engaging 55-minute program to all 7th grade students in seven middle schools our service area each year. Taught as part of the science curriculum, students learn the seven steps of the scientific method as defined in the “Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigations” (NFPA 921).

 

HIGH SCHOOL CPR – 9TH GRADE

Since 2013, Spokane Valley Firefighters have been teaching hands-only CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use to students attending four high schools in East Valley and West Valley school districts. Twice a year for two days, firefighters teach CPR as part of the 9th grade Health curriculum. We teach about 800 students per year.

 

SPOKANE VALLEY TECH – 11TH AND 12TH GRADE

A team of off-duty SVFD firefighters teach two programs at Spokane Valley Tech (SVT), a school for high school students to gain technical skills and experience in growing industries with a focus on career and college readiness.

  • Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services – this program introduces students to structural and wildland firefighting and the emergency medical system. The program uses state-of-the-art equipment and facilities including an onsite fire engine. The program develops the required teamwork, leadership, mental and physical skills to be successful in the fire service.
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – this program prepares students to test for their Emergency Medical Technician Certification. It is taught by SVFD firefighters in partnership with Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS). It is available to high school seniors by application.

 

Spokane Valley Tech programs serve 11th and 12th grade students from all local school districts. The curriculum is rigorous and students are eligible to earn college credit and/or various professional certifications. For more information call 228-5600.