FIRE SAFETY CENTER
The Meridian Fire Department, through a partnership with the Meridian School District, celebrated their grand opening of the Meridian Fire Safety Center in May 2005.
The Fire Safety Center is an educational tool used to teach fire prevention and fire survival in an interactive manner.
The facilities main rooms are accessible to the disabled. As you enter the facility, you enter the classroom, which is used to show video clips and teach fire safety.
The room is equipped with a large window that shows a bedroom that has a recreation of an actual fire that took place in Meridian.
Children can witness how the fire progressed and can see that there is room to survive by crawling low.
The fully equipped kitchen is used to teach cooking safety and medicine and cleaning supply safekeeping.
The facility has a sprinkler head demonstration room.
An article of clothing is ignited utilizing a natural gas/igniter; students witness the effectiveness of sprinklers in controlling fires in the early stages. The facility houses a control room, where firefighters can operate the sprinkler controls and a theatrical fog machine to “smoke” one or all rooms in the center.
There are two bedrooms that are used to teach children what it would be like to be in a real fire. One is equipped with a heated door that simulates what a door might feel like in the event there is a fire on the other side. The children go through a simulated fire as they lay in beds.
They are taught ways to get out of a burning house safely. They are instructed to “crawl low beneath the smoke” as they exit to safety. Along the way they check the bedroom door for heat with the back of their hand. If the door feels warm they use their second way out and exit through the window. Once safely outside they proceed to the meeting place.
Once there, they each call 9-1-1 utilizing a phone system with real dial and ring tones; the calls go into a simulated dispatch center. Children are instructed to give their name, the address and type of emergency and to stay on the phone until they are told to hang up. After practicing their emergency reporting procedures the children have a question-and-answer time, followed by a discussion to empower children to take what they have learned home to teach their families.