The Commerce Journal

July 3, 2013

Trailer used to educate department, residents on fire safety

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Knowing the main causes of a house fire, and having an escape route planned can save lives.

The Commerce Fire Department received a grant for a new truck that will help teach these life-saving steps.

The Fire Education Trailer is a 21-foot-long trailer that simulates various common house fires, including electrical fires such as bad appliances and stove fires.

Chris Basham, firefighter for CFD, wrote the grant for the $75,000 trailer, of which 95 percent is paid for by the state.

“This will teach home hazards and what it would be like in a house fire without the danger,” he said, adding that the trailer can produce artificial smoke. “We can get this thing pretty hot.”

According to Fire Chief Jack Berni, the trailer is a multi-faceted benefit for the entire community.

“It will be for safety education not only for children but for adults,” he said. “We can do a lot of things for the school. The College students and the adults could get use out of it as well.”

Commerce Mayor John Ballotti said he couldn’t stress enough the importance of fire safety for the city.

“I don’t think we can ever have enough fire safety programs,” he said.

The CFD is expected to have the trailer in time to demonstrate its use during the Bois D’ Arc Bash in September.