Our Department is beginning to plan for our Grand Opening Open House and I would like to know what kinds of activities other departments have had at their open houses. I really want to incorporate a lot of fire and safety information for the public but I want to make it fun so that when people think about how much fun they had, they will remember what they learned while having a good time.

Thanks in advance for all your help and support!

Be careful and stay safe!

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Tammy We just opened our second dept. We had a BBQ. Burgers and hot dogs. We had air evaic 40 come in with life flight That went well . We talked with them . And had a training class with them. We had the news paper there. They done a big spread in the paper on it. We had the county police officers there. We played soft ball game. fire vers police . Then every one had BBQ. Almost the hole town was there. We charged 3.00 a plate. Was good free advertisment good public relations and the dept made some money . By the way we lost the soft ball game. We decided to have the game once a year. I hope this gives you some ideals . Stay safe aut there.
Thanks for your reply, Eric. I will take your suggestions to our Open House Committee Meeting this week.
The JR Firefighter badges and Jr Firefighter helmets always go over well. There can be coloring contests with fire safety coloring books these sheets can even be printed off the net if money is tight. Teaching kids to have evacuation plans with the families is great. Child Finder reflective signs are important to give out. Kids love to be involved if time allows put the hose on a fog pattern and let the kids run thru or stand in the dump tanks can be fun! Good luck and God bless!
D & D
Tammy, I'm sure you'll get a million terrific ideas here. I'm just going to throw out one that is my personal responsibility to share. When all the politicians and your chief have had there moment of fame at the podium, have your departments official chaplain offer that prayer that actually serves as the dedication itself. If that is already on the books, thats great, your covered and I'm done. Congratulations and God bless.
We do a open house every year but not for a new station. We put on a BBQ for the public. We sent flyers out in the newspaper about a month before and then again the week of. We do not charge the people to come and eat and it seems to atract more people because they are getting a free meal. We have different booths set up with a slide show and then different saftey things. We have people out with the trucks letting the little ones crawl around in them and that I would have to say is the biggest thing. The parents really like to see that you let there kids do things like that. You could even do something like a hose comp. or a firemen's comp. the day of. We are doing a kids comp. this year on the 4th and we are getting alot of kids signing up. We really focus on the kids because the parents like that.
Dewayne and Diana Bean,
Thanks for all the great ideas! I have heard that a lot of departments have gotten away from giving out the "Child Finder" stickers because a child predator could use them to identify where a child is located in a family's home. My parents had them on our windows when I was a kid and I think it is sad that something that was created to help benefit the firefighters is now being used to endanger young children. The other ideas are a great help and I will be using a few, if not all of them. Take care and be safe! ~Tammy~
Dear Padre,
Actually our department is very lucky and we have three people that want to serve as our Chaplain. We can never have too many people praying for us! Thanks for your thoughts, Tammy
I definitely agree that we need to focus on the children. I have two daughters and have had them around the station almost everyday. They love it! My oldest (age 6) wants to have a lemonade stand at our Open House and she has already started advertising (around the station, lol) for it. Thanks for your comment! Sending my best to you and your's...
Hey there tammy, looks like you are getting alo tof great ideas for your open house. I saw the one post about the Tot Finders, they redid them and they no longer go on the windows. I use them when i do our fire prevention details at the day care and pre-schools. You might want to check them out. They are now smaller and reflective and go on the door and the door jams to the childs room. Hope you have a great turn out for your open house and good luck with it.
Hey Tammy,

If you have some old sets of turnout gear around, how about a quick dress drill? Have the civilians race against a FF? It seems like when we have quick dress at the station, we always end up laughing our butts off about something or other...

For the kids, take a sheet of plywood or OSB use it to make the front of a 2 story house with the windows cut out. Make flames out of cloth and attach them to the backside of the 'house' over the windows. Let the kids throw beanbags through the windows to put the flames out.

If you really want to go all out and have something great check this out.

See if you can get an old junker and put on an Auto Extrication demo for the people. Burgers & Hot Dogs are always a winner. If your dept has an Aerial set it up and see about allowing ppl to climb it with a firefighter.

If your dept had a burn prop like a dumpster or vehicle do a demo utilizing it as well. The idea to have citizens dress out in gear is a great idea too. Let them see and feel what it's like being in our gear. Find a fire prevention video and have it playing on a TV set up on a table with prevention pamphlets. Put together a video of your dept showing the ppl, training and incidents have this playing in conjunction with the prevention video.
the new child finder stickers go on the inside of the house. Partly for that reason, but also to let the rescue team thats inside that room is the childs to look really hard in this room. To check them out go to www.totfinder.com

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