The City's Fire Prevention Programs
The Fire Prevention Office provides for the safety of the citizens through inspections and strict enforcement of the Melbourne and state fire prevention codes, through fire investigations, and through community education. The office is a section of the Code Compliance Division of the Fire Department. To request inspections, information, classes, or presentations, or to give confidential information concerning a fire, or to request investigation reports, call the Fire Prevention Section at 321/608-7910.
COMMUNITY EDUCATION ACTIVITIES:
Community educators of the Fire Prevention Section provide citizens with current fire and life safety information and techniques as well as safety tips for your home. Presentations include fire/life safety for children in day cares, pre-schools,elementary schools, and youth groups. Training is available in portable fire extinguisher use, hurricane preparedness, fire/life safety techniques, as well as fall prevention for the elderly, and fire drill procedures.
JUVENILE FIRE-SETTER INTERVENTION:
This program was developed in response to an increasing need to educate children on the consequences of playing with fire. The program also teaches families to identify and control hazardous behaviors.
The program focuses on consequences through video biographies of children burned by fire.
The two-hour program allows families to identify the difference between natural curiosity and a behavioral problem, educates family members about behaviors that pose hazards, and develops an intervention plan homes.
The final segment of the class focuses on fire safety in the home, including cooking safety and the effective use of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and emergency escape drills. For information contact the Melbourne Fire Prevention Office at 321/608-7900. Print and complete an application and pre-test before attending class. The agency sponsors a National Preparedness Month.
SENIORS AND FIRE SAFETY:
Be informed about the special hazards that seniors face. The U.S. Fire Administration is a helpful source.
All fire inspections, other than those for new construction, are assigned to the Fire Prevention Office. Inspections include day care, annual state required fire inspections, special activity permits, and commercial inspections. The office also reviews fire and evacuation plans for facilities including commercial and medical/health.
All fires within the City of Melbourne that cannot be readily identified as to the origin or cause are investigated by fire inspector/investigators. Trained fire investigators respond upon request of Fire Department operations personnel. Fire investigators also work with Melbourne Police Department detectives in the prosecution of arson crimes.
Those seeking employment as a firefighter must meet minimum qualifications for certification as defined by Florida Statutes 633.34-633.35. In general, applicants must meet other requirements including:
- At least 18 years of age.
- High school diploma or equivalent and valid Florida driver's license.
- Good physical condition and ability to participate in physical activities without restriction.
- Complete minimum standards training course and state certificate exam.
- State certified at least EMT level-paramedic preferred.
The Melbourne Fire Training Center is a critical part of the Fire Department. The Center is located on Hughes Road, behind the Wickham Road Wendy’s restaurant. The Training Center is equipped with a classroom and a burn tower which are used throughout the year for continuing education and training.
Training sessions provided by training officers include search and rescue, vehicle extrication, pump operator training, ladders, tools and ropes, CPR, advanced airway training, emergency vehicle driving and other related classes.
BE READY: Prepare, Prevent, Practice
Working Smoke Detectors:
Test your detectors monthly by pressing the test button and listening for the alarm. Change the detector batteries twice a year. Consider doing this at the same time you change your clocks in the fall and spring. NEVER disable a smoke detector. Consider retrofitting with smoke detectors featuring lithium batteries that can last 10 years.
Home Escape Plan:
Draw a diagram showing doors and windows. Determine two escape routes from each room. Identify an outdoor meeting place a safe distance from the house where everyone reports. Teach everyone to “Get Out and Stay Out,” leaving the house and not re-entering for any reason. Teach everyone to call 9-1-1 from a neighbor’s or cell phone.
Be sure your address is visible from the street so emergency crews can find your house quickly.
Never use charcoal or unvented appliances in your home. Clean/service your chimneys and heating systems annually. Keep combustibles at least 18 inches away from baseboard and portable heaters. Never leave a portable heater unattended in a room or around children.
Matches & Lighters:
KIDS + MATCHES/LIGHTERS = FIRE! Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Teach children to tell an adult when they find matches or lighters, and that those items are not toys. Do not allow children to light candles, especially in their bedrooms. Consider using only lighters with child-resistant features.
Extension cords should not be used in place of permanent wiring. Do not overload plugs or extension cords! If you cannot avoid using a number of power cords, be sure to use power strips with circuit breakers. Unplug small appliances when not in use. Do not overlook tripped circuit breakers, as they may indicate a dangerous situation.
NEVER smoke in bed! Extinguish smoking materials in sturdy, non-tip ashtrays. Do not dispose with trash cans, shrubbery, or ground areas with flammable plant material. Dispose of hot ashes and briquettes in metal containers, not in paper bags, cardboard boxes, trash cans, or plastic buckets. Keep containers of hot ashes and briquettes outside, far away from structures and off of wood decks and patios. Briquettes and ashes can stay hot for several days.
Never leave the room when using burners, especially when warming food. Fats and greases are highly susceptible to ignition if left unattended. In case of grease or pan fire, smother the fire with the lid to the pan or use an extinguisher. NEVER throw water on a grease fire. Keep combustibles away from cooking surfaces, even if the heating elements are not in use. Do not store extra pans or combustibles in the oven.
Store paint, paint thinner, gasoline, and other flammable liquids outside your dwelling and away from heat sources. Rags or combustibles soaked with flammable liquids should be discarded in metal containers with lids, not saved, to prevent spontaneous fires.
Panic can slow you down – know what to do and how to do it! Teach family members to crawl low along the floor in a smoke-filled room, because the “good air” is near the floor. Spread out a sheet and shake it a couple of feet above the ground to simulate smoke and have everyone crawl very low under it.
Don’t forget to practice crawling down the stairs, feet first for safety. Hold regular fire drills to practice home escape plans. Keep track of how quickly you clear the house. Remember, you may have less than two minutes to escape! Mix it up. Practice a variety of scenarios, just in case!
Melbourne Fire Explorer Post 2514
is a chartered Explorer post of the Central Florida Boy Scout Council and has been in existence since early 1980. The Post offers young men and women the chance to participate and investigate possible careers in the fire service and emergency medical fields.
Fire Explorers participate in hands-on training with the firefighter/paramedics of the Melbourne Fire Department. The Explorers, after initial training, report to the various fire stations throughout the city, and under supervision of the station commander assist the firefighter/paramedics in limited duties at fire and emergency scenes.
The Fire Explorer program is open to all young men and women, ages 14 through 21. These individuals must be in high school or college and not be working full-time. Individuals at age 14 must be in ninth grade.
For further information about the Fire Explorer program and the Melbourne Fire Explorer Post 2514 contact Firefighter/EMT Tom Morissette, Post Advisor, at Station 76, 321/255-4607.