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12 January 2024

Fire and Cooking safety

Renton Regional Fire Authority, WA


Fire and Cooking Safety

Sara Morris is Deputy Fire Marshal ( DFM ) at the Renton Regional Fire Authority (RRFA), WA. She’s also responsible for public education, fire inspections, and public information activities. She was happy to answer questions on their Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S ) educ. program and Modeltech’s Int’l.  (MDT)

Fire and Cooking safety tools…

In time, the Renton RFA FP&S program has long used firefighters to educate the community on fire Hazards and more. Since the inception of the DFM position in 2018, Renton’s education program was rejuvenated. Soon after, Hazard House simulator (compact version) and both Hazard Kitchen modules were incorporated into their FP&S program with immediate impacts. ‘Helping people to learn and to remember safety messages was greatly facilitated by the addition of those FP&S props’ says the DFM.

Mrs. Morris and her team acquired MDT’s simulators through the FEMA Fire Prevention Grants process. As per the Renton Educators, the simulators are key elements helping drive their important FP&S messages in the community!

The Renton RFA Marshal’s Office, having a diverse and unique community, is very demanding. The mix of properties includes residential, multi-family, senior homes, high-rises & commercial buildings. Some of these large properties including Boeing, IKEA and the home of the Seattle Seahawks Training Facility. The RRFA provides service for a base population of over 132,000. The daytime population adds 9,000 more to account for commuters and Boeing employees.


Fire and Cooking safety prop

MDT’s simulators are being used to drive their FP&S messages depending on the audiences they will instruct.

For example, the Hazard Kitchen modules are the #1 prevention props used for senior citizens, junior high or middle school audiences.

When dealing with the kindergarteners & the 32 elementary schools, the Hazard House simulator (compact version) is the #1 prevention tool they will used. It is also very popular for ‘boys & girls scouts’ evenings, national night out festivals and farmers’ market (twice a yr.) audiences. The FP&S messages could also be delivered very efficiently thru community fairs (between 15 to 20 /yr.).

When asked how MDT’s simulators interact with their audiences, Mrs. Morris mentioned their powerful remembering effects. Due to their unique ‘special effects’, and their 3D visual impacts, Educators love using them in their educative sessions. People are effectively captivated by the realistic flame simulations and the electric sound effects. The simulators automatically get the full attention of their audiences, thus yielding great retention of their fire safety messages.

In her own words, DFM Morris describes the Hazard House and Hazard Kitchen simulators as ‘fantastic technology’! Those great props are super engaging & rated as great interacting devices helping to drive their FP&S messages!


Safety Program

In the beginning, one concern was raised to use MDT’s simulators in their ‘Kindergarten Fire Safety’ program. Will they succeed in using the simulator to increase the attention span of the kid’s audience? From past experiences, they had experienced difficulties in keeping the young audience’s attention to go over more than 10 minutes. Now, using the Hazard House with their kindergarteners, they noticed their attention span had increased by more than 3 folds! With the Hazard House, they can now do 30 minutes more presentations, keeping their young audiences excited!

The ‘Hazard Kitchen’ & ‘Hazard House’ are a huge hit with our senior citizens populations. Consequently Renton Fire has developed great relationships with many of the senior communities in their response area.

Surprisingly, Mrs. Morris mentioned that even in events in remote areas with no electrical outlet close by, the Dept. will still use their simulators! The simulators elaborated content includes so many other FP&S messages thus creating much more opportunities to be addressed by the Educators.

In conclusion, Mrs. Morris mentioned that the Fire Prevention Dept. vision, is targeting safer, healthier, and stronger community responses! No doubt that ‘with MDT fire prevention simulators’ she said, ’we feel that we are one step closer to the ideal set-up’!