Charleston Fire Department unveils inflatable safety house to educate children

Local children from the Bob Burdette Center jump out of the inflatable house on Thursday.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Charleston Fire Department (CFD) is providing a new way to educate the youth on fire safety.

The Charleston Fire Prevention Bureau bought an inflatable safety house to educate children about fire safety, and what to do in the event of an emergency. The CFD showcased the new inflatable safety house Thursday with local children from the Bob Burdette Center, as they discussed some key safety elements.

CFD lieutenant Justin Alford said they will take it to surrounding areas.

CFD lieutenant Justin Alford

“We are going to set it up at Live on the Levee some days and other city events we have,” he said. “After that, we will take it from there and see how we can use it effectively to get as many children through the fire prevention program.”

Alford says after children complete the program, he wants kids to go back home and work with their parents to set up a proper fire safety plan.

“I want kids to learn to go back and work with their parents. Parents are the key because they’re the ones that have to teach the kids what they want them to do. Parents need to teach their kids a proper escape plan, meeting place, and how to call 911,” Alford said.

Alford also gave his three keys to fire safety.

“Make sure your smoke alarms work, work with your parents, and get out,” Alford said.

The inflatable is more cost-effective and will replace the old safety house. It cost them around $9,000 compared to the $70,000 old house.

Story by Chayce Matheny