Fire Safety is Paramount at 2019 NYSAFC Convention and Expo Fire Safety is Paramount at 2019 NYSAFC Convention and Expo

Syracuse firefighters work to educate public on fire safety.

By Keir Chapman SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —  There have been a rash of fires making their way through Syracuse. There have been a total of six fires in just over two weeks.

The Buckingham Avenue fire that took place on Monday claimed the life of a SUNY ESF student. Beth Ann Newkirk died early Tuesday morning after being found unresponsive inside the home.

The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC) 113th Annual Conference and Fire Expo began today. The event sees fire fighters from the state, as well as Canada, make their way to the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse.

Aside from being able to purchase equipment to help battle fires, the conference serves as a setting for fire fighters to take classes to help them fight fires better, and to better educate the public on fire prevention and safety measures.

Rick Nemier, the chairman of the public education committee, said their main goal is to protect civilian lives.

“We want to make sure you get out of the house” Nemier said. “That house can be replaced. You can’t.”

According to Nemier, leaving food on the stove is one of the most common causes of house fires. Another that is easy to prevent, but often overlooked, are dryer fires. Nemier said lint is flammable and it takes just a spark to start a fire. He recommended checking lint filters before every use.

The  conference will run through June 15. After signing a three-year contract with Syracuse, the NYSAFC will hold the event in the OnCenter for the next three years. Nemier said the lessons fire fighters learn from the conference go a long way in keeping them safe.

“We can die just as much as the person that’s in the house,” Nemier said. “The people that come to these conferences, and the people that get educated through this conference are well trained individuals who are ready for just about anything.”

Reporter: Syracuse residents have seen a rash of house fires in the last few weeks. The blaze on Buckingham Avenue last week claimed the life of a SUNY ESF student. The Onondaga County Fire Department works with the public to promote fire prevention and safety measures. The chariman of the public education committee, Rick Nemier, says it is key to get out of the house as soon as a fire breaks out.

Nemier: “Well life safety is our most important commodity. We want to make sure you get out of the house. That house can be replaced, you can’t.”

Reporter: Smoke detectors are the first line of defense in fire safety. Nemier says houses with fire sprinklers built in are better equipped to prevent a fire as water will put the flames out once smoke is detected. To Nemier, the ultimate goal of educating the public about fire prevention might leave him without a job

Nemier: “We’re trying to put the fire department out of a job, basically.”

Reporter: According to Nemier, food left on the stove is the leading cause of house fires. He also warns people to check their lint filters. Lint is very flammable, and it takes just a spark to create a dryer fire.

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