Fire Prevention Bureau protects the people of Minot

In the United States, a fire department responds to a fire every 23 seconds. Each of these fires occurs under different conditions, hence the fire service mantra: Every fire is different. (NFPA, 2011)

This, in many ways, sums up the work the Fire Prevention Bureau does to keep the citizens of Minot safe from fire danger. Whether through routine inspections, fire investigations, or working on new methods of prevention such as community risk reduction, the bureau is always striving for a safer Minot.

Human behavior shows, during a fire, half of the people in a building at any given time will exit through the same door they entered rather than locating the closest exit. Fire code is written for situations like this and others. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the fire code is also written in reaction to significant events that have happened and need mitigation before similar circumstances arise elsewhere. Fire inspections on businesses and daycares, as well as plan reviews on new construction, are performed in order to reduce the risk of history repeating itself.

Preventing similar events from happening elsewhere is also why the bureau performs fire investigations. Our goal through investigations is to identify the origin and cause of fires. This benefits the department by identifying potential causes of future fires and affords us the opportunity to prevent similar fires from occurring elsewhere. Minot Fire Department works with Minot Police Department as well as the State Fire Marshal’s office on investigations where criminal activity is found to have been a possibility or when a fire is of such magnitude that additional help is required.

Our latest work has been in the area of community risk. By tracking calls over the past years, we are able to identify areas where we need to concentrate our prevention efforts. This is an “all-hazards” approach to public safety. A task as monumental as this requires a collaborative effort between multiple agencies in regards to identifying all risks as well as planning for their mitigation and continued growth towards safer operations. Everything from identifying trends in calls to teaching parents proper car seat installation are ways in which we can reduce risk for the community.

Although inspections and investigations have their place, we feel our greatest impact on safety for the citizens of Minot is through public education. Each year we visit local elementary schools to teach Minot’s youth the basics of fire safety. But fire safety isn’t a one-day-a-year event, rather an every-day pursuit for excellence. This is why, throughout the year, we conduct fire safety trainings and discussions with various businesses and groups. We tailor their fire safety training based on the specific requests of each group.

No matter the task, the work the Fire Prevention Bureau does on a daily basis is aimed at improving the safety and quality of life for the residents of Minot. It’s a job we take seriously and sincerely hope you do as well. Until all fire dangers are gone, we will continue to humbly serve you, the people of Minot.

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