Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman

In what has become the annual gathering of the [media] clan, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman shepherded the assembled camera crews and onlookers midday Thursday on how not to turn your home – or Christmas tree – into a bonfire this holiday season. The various demonstrations each had its purpose – none more dramatic than how quickly a tree can incinerate.

Another demonstration (pictured, top) had as much to do with response time and what to do if there is a fire in your home – in this case caused by candles that caught adjacent wall hangings on fire. With the flames heating up those assembled and particles of ash sticking to their clothes – thanks to some moisture in the air – Chief Schapelhouman reminded people that at the first sign of flames, leave the home and call 911. The response time of the department is about six minutes from the time the equipment leaves the stations, according to the Chief.

School classroom fire demonstration

As those who’ve followed the Chief for some years, he often has a new issue to bring to the public’s attention. So this year’s fire safety demonstration included two simulated school classroom fires, one equipped with a fire sprinkler system (above, left) and one without this “critical safety feature” (above, right).  The Chief explained that in recent years some schools using local bond funds have sought a little known exemption under the law that allows them to build new schools without sprinkler systems. The Menlo Park Fire Protection District, which backed the legislation (Green Oak Bill) that changed the law, is asking school districts around the state to voluntarily sign a pledge not to use the exemption.

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Cooking fire reminder – do not douse with water!

The place to be for Bay Area media yesterday afternoon was once again the main station of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. There Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman teamed with officials from Exponent Failure Analysis for a Thanksgiving holiday fire safety demonstration that showcased the dangers associated with cooking fires. Cooking equipment is by far […]

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Menlo Park Fire Chief raises awareness about carbon monoxide poisoning

Fire fighters from around the Bay Area gathered at the Menlo Park Fire Protection District’s Station #1 this morning to kick off Operation 7: Save a Life, a campaign designed to increase public awareness about fire safety and the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. The event, which came at the beginning of Carbon Monoxide Awareness […]

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Vintage Seagrave convertible fire engine heads home to Menlo Park Fire Protection District

We got word from Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman that one of the district’s original 50s era trucks – a Seagrave convertible fire engine – will be arriving home tonight at Fire Station 77 after being gone for over 30 years. The classically styled Engine was sold to the Juliaetta, Idaho community […]

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Menlo Park Fire District bond ratings get kudos in Wall Street Journal article

When everything on the internet is free, it becomes a difficult to post something that’s behind a “paywall.” But the fact that the Menlo Park Fire District bonds were featured in today’s Wall Street Journal seems impossible not to note. If you’re not a subscriber, here’s the gist. The article by reporter Cari Tuna explains: […]

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Fire chief Harold Schapelhouman offers winter safety tips to avoid house fires

Data shows that home fires  occur twice as often during the winter months. Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman offered advice to Menlo residents on how to stay safe from  fires and other hazards this winter at a recent safety demonstration. Never leave a fire of any kind, including candles, unattended, especially if children or […]

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