The second Citizen’s Fire Academy class offered a ride in Tower One and focused on fire safety information.
According to McMinnville Fire Department training officer Phil Mitchell, the fire triangle refers to the three items that must be present for a fire to occur.
“Oxygen, heat and fuel,” Mitchell said. “You have to have all three of those things for a fire. The main causes of fires are candles, extension cords, improperly placed heaters, smoking in bed, not emptying ashtrays, faulty wiring, and careless cooking habits. Cooking was the primary cause of residential fires in 2011.”
The number of fire-related injuries are steadily on the rise. In 1999, there were 4,183 injures reported in the United States. The number increase to 17,785 in 2004. Tennessee ranked 48th worst in the nation in terms of fire deaths, with 85 deaths in 2011.
For personal protection, the department encourages individuals to install smoke detectors in every room of their home and check the batteries twice a year.
“The life you save may be your own,” said Mitchell.
The Citizen’s Fire Academy class is offered by the fire department as a way for the general public to see the inner workings of the department.
Did you know firefighters can be superstitious? Mitchell says they can be.
“We have one shift that won’t eat chili and one shift that won’t go to bed before 9 p.m.,” he said. “They think a fire will happen if they do. I won’t tell you which shifts those are, so don’t ask me.”
For more information on the classes or to sign up for the next session, contact the department at 473-6739.