ADAMS -- National Fire Prevention Week begins Sunday, and town emergency responders are gearing up for an open house at the Alert Hose Co. firehouse at 3 Columbia St., planned for Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Anthony Piscioneri, Adams Police Department dispatcher and pointman for planning the evening's programming, said organizers have put together an event involving handouts, information booths and more.
"Different agencies are going to come by and provide demonstrations, training and exhibits," Piscioneri said. "The kids like being able to interact, so we're going to set up some activities that will allow kids to participate."
In addition to the Alert Hose Co., firefighters from Cheshire and Williamstown are expected to take part, Piscioneri said.
Participating youths will get to try out a fire department hose and attempt to work their way through a "smoke" room -- simulated by a fog machine -- among other hands-on activities.
But the open house, Piscioneri stressed, is for all ages, not just kids.
Tied to the event are year-round efforts by emergency responders to promote fire prevention knowledge among the public, including visits to schools, apartment complexes and retirement homes.
"It's really something for people of all ages," Piscioneri said. "Each year we do something different, and all of it shows people that there's more to the fire department than fighting fires."
Piscioneri said emergency responders also like opportunities to develop a level of comfort with the residents they serve. In the event of an emergency, it could make a big difference, he said.
Adams Fire District Chief Paul Goyette said he's looking forward to the open house.
"We want to see as many people as possible," Goyette said. "We've got interactive activities for the kids and information for everybody to take."
Past open houses have drawn as many as 600 people.
Fire Prevention Week is a nationally observed event scheduled this year from Sunday, Oct. 7 to Saturday, Oct. 13. It is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and was originally meant to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
"It all culminates this week. We try to get the message out year-long, but this is our biggest program," Piscioneri said.