Monday, October 9, 2017

Episode 389 (10-9-17): Fire Prevention Week Helps Fight Fires with Education and Preparedness

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:31).

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, an image, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 10-6-17.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 9, 2017.

This week, we feature a series of safety-oriented mystery sounds.   Have a listen for about 25 seconds, and see if you can guess the dangerous phenomenon for which water is the usual remedy.

SOUNDS - ~25 sec

If you guessed fire, you’re right!   You heard a home smoke alarm, a dormitory fire alarm, and a fire-hydrant pressure test.  All are aspects of the constant and complicated challenge of preventing fires or protecting people and property when fires do occur.

Fire safety by individuals, families, businesses, and communities is the focus Fire Prevention Week, which in 2017 runs October 8-14. Sponsored annually since 1922 by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, the observance always includes October 9, the date when the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 did most of its damage.  NFPA sets a central theme for each year—this year it’s “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out”—and provides many educational items, particularly for school children.

One of the learning tools this year is a fire-safety quiz; here are five key messages from that quiz: *From 2010 to 2014, 84 percent of fire deaths in the U.S. occurred in one-family or two-family homes;
*Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires;
*Once a home smoke alarm sounds, there may be less than two minutes to escape;
*A home fire-escape plan should include working smoke alarms, two ways out of each room, and an outside meeting place; and
*During a fire in a typical building, react immediately, get ouside, and stay outside.

The quiz and other educational resources are available online at; resources particularly for pre-K to grade 5 children are available at

During Fire Prevention Week and all year round, education and preparedness can help reduce the times we hear this sound:

SOUND – ~ 7 sec - fire engine siren and horn

Thanks to for the dormitory alarm and fire engine sounds. We close with about 25 seconds of music to remind children of what to do in a house fire.  Here’s part of “Little Rosalie,” by SteveSongs, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association.

MUSIC - ~28 sec


For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at, or call us at (540) 231-5463. Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


The hydrant pressure-test sound was recorded on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg on March 10, 2017.  Thanks to the Virginia Tech Facilities Department and to Liberty Fire Solutions of Salem, Va., for allowing Virginia Water Radio to record and photograph the testing and for providing  information about the test.  See the Images section below for a photo and more information.

The Dormitory fire alarm sound (dated May 13, 2008) was recorded by user user guitarguy1985 and made available for public use by, online at, under the Creative Commons 0 License (no copyright). The fire engine sound (dated April 6, 2016) was recorded by user logancircle2 and made available for public use by, online at, also under the Creative Commons 0 License. For more information on Creative Commons licenses, please see; information on the 0 License specifically is online at

“Little Rosalie” is copyright by SteveSongs (Steve Roslonek) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), used with permission of the NFPA. The full 5 min./1 sec. video is available at the NFPA’s “Sparky School House” Web site, online at More information about SteveSongs is available online at

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode. More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at

Fire-hydrant pressure testing by a staff member of the Virginia Tech Facilities Department on the campus in Blacksburg, March 10, 2017. The test was to see whether sprinklers in a nearby building would have enough pressure to function in the case of the hydrant being used fully during a fire.
The National Fire Protection Association’s logo for Fire Prevention Week in 2017, available online at, ©NFPA.
Three photos above: historic fire-fighting equipment on display at the Blacksburg, Va., Volunteer Fire Department’s Prices Fork Road station, October 7, 2017.


National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
“About Fire Prevention Week,” online at;
“Public Education,” online at (this pages offers links to many public education tools, such as safety tip sheets, school lesson plans, and information targeted to specific kinds of buildings);
“Promoting Fire Prevention Week,” online at;
“Sparky School House,” online at;
“Teaching Fire Prevention Week,” online at online at
NFPA You Tube channel, online at

Virginia Department of Fire Programs, online at


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the Weather/Natural Disasters subject category.

Following are links to some other episodes on safety issues.
Boating safety – Episode 270, 6/15/15 (Operation Dry Water and Boating Under the Influence).
Episode 370, 5/29/17
(Safe Boating Week).
Dock safety – Episode 131, 10/8/12.
Earthquake drills – Episode 388, 10/2/17.
Flash flooding – Episode 328, 8/8/16.
Storm surge – Episode 385 – 9/11/17.
Tornado preparedness – Episode 358, 3/6/17.
Tropical storm preparedness – Episode 369, 5/22/17.
Weather watch/warning messages – Episode 106, 4/9/12.
Winter preparedness – Episode 344, 11/28/16.


The episode may help with Virginia 2013 Music SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

This episode may also help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
3.10 - impacts on survival of species, including effects of fire, flood, disease, and erosion on organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decision, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Theme
4.6 – weather conditions, phenomena, and measurements.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs.

Grades K-6 Civics Theme
K.10 – good citizenship.
1.10 – good citizenship.
2.11 – good citizenship.
3.11 – good citizenship.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.1 – skills for responsible citizenship.

World Geography Course
WG.1 – skills for responsible citizenship.

Government Course
GOVT.1 – skills for responsible citizenship.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at

Following are links to previous Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.
Episode 249 (1-19-15) - on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade;
Episode 250 (1-26-15) - on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade;
Episode 255 (3-2-15) - on density, for 5th and 6th grade;
Episode 282 (9-21-15) - on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten;
Episode 309 (3-28-16) - on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 332 (9-12-16) – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.