Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Preventing Home Fires

Unique Arts experience, Loop Ice Carnival, Eagle Days, honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and more to enjoy!

January 16, 2014 | 6 min reading time

Tips for Preventing Home Fires

 Home fires occur more often in winter than in any other season.  Fortunately, there are simple precautions you can take to prevent most fires.  Here are some tips to review to help ensure your safety and that of your loved ones:

If you must use a portable heater, turn it off when leaving or sleeping.  Put at least three feet of empty space between the heater and everything else.  Never use extension cords with portable electric heaters.  Make sure your portable electric heater has a tip-over shut off function.

Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage, shed or other partially enclosed space, even if doors and windows are open.  Use portable generators outside only, far away from the home and away from openings to the home, including doors, windows, and vents.  Always refuel the generator outdoors and away from any ignition sources.  Be sure generator fuel is properly and safely stored.

Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area in your home.  Test your smoke alarms each month to make sure they are working.  Smoke alarms 10 years old and older need to be replaced with new units.

Have a home escape plan and practice the plan with your entire family at least twice a year.


Upcoming Events

Jan. 17 through Jan. 25 -- Reset, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 9 a.m.

Expect the unexpected during Reset, a series of programs happening this Friday through Saturday, Jan. 25 at The Pulitzer, 3716 Washington Boulevard in GrandCenter.  This unconventional series of programs will take place during short periods between exhibitions and will provide new ways to engage visitors with visual art, music, dance, film, and performance in the Pulitzer gallery space.  For the complete Reset schedule of events, go to the web site.


Jan. 18 -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Health Fair & Luncheon, Sheraton City Center, 8 a.m.

The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a Health Fair and Luncheon beginning at 8 a.m. this Saturday at the Sheraton City Center, located at 400 S. 14th Street in the Downtown West neighborhood.  The goal of the free Health Fair is to increase awareness of risk factors and warning signs in the African American community.  Guests will be treated to a heart healthy lunch, free CPR training and heart-related education.  To make your reservation, call (314) 692-5642.


Jan. 18 -- Ice Carnival, The Delmar Loop, 10 a.m.


The Ice Carnival fun will begin this Saturday at 10 a.m. with the annual 5k and 10k Frozen Buns Run in the Delmar Loop.  Afterward, visitors will be able to enjoy great photo opportunities with penguins, polar bears and photo cut-outs, $1,000 frozen into ice cubes, a scavenger hunt, ice sculptures, ice carving, game booths and more.  For all the details, log on to the web site.


Jan. 18 -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Freedom Celebration, Saint Louis Art Museum, 8:30 a.m.

Everyone is invited to attend the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Freedom Celebration this Saturday from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Saint LouisArt Museum's Farrell Auditorium in beautiful Forest Park.  The keynote speaker will be attorney Wayne C. Harvey, with visual art, music and dance performances.  Tickets are free, but seating is limited so call (314) 655-5444 to learn about advance and same-day ticket availability.


Jan. 18 & 19 -- Eagle Days, Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, 9 a.m.

Everyone is invited to welcome back the bald eagles to our region on Eagle Days.  Bring the whole family this Saturday and Sunday to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, 10950 Riverview Drive in the Riverview neighborhood, to view eagles in the wild through spotting scopes staffed by trained volunteers.  Visitors will also be able to see an eagle up close at regular live eagle programs from the World Bird Sanctuary, enjoy a warming tent with kids' crafts, pose for a photo in the life-size eagle nest, explore a Lewis & Clark living history camp and more.  Questions?  Call (314) 877-1309.


Jan. 19 -- MLK Program, Missouri History Museum, 6 p.m.

The Missouri History Museum will present "I May Not Get There with You:  A Multimedia MLK Commemoration" this Sunday from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Museum in the Lee Auditorium, 5700 Lindell Boulevard.  The free program will focus on the speeches delivered in the last year of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life.  The program will explore key moments through poetry, imagery, and sound.  To learn more, visit the web site.

Jan. 19 – Family Sundays, St. Louis Art Museum, 1 p.m.

The St. Louis Art Museum's Family Sundays Series in January will feature Ancient Egyptian art and culture.  From ancient hieroglyphics to elaborately crafted grave goods, each week will focus on a different aspect of Ancient Egypt.  Stop by the museum Sunday afternoon between 1 and 4 p.m. for hands-on art activities and a lively 30-minute family tour through the Galleries.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, visit the web site.

Jan. 20 -- Let Freedom Ring, Christ Church Cathedral-Episcopal, 9 a.m.

The public is invited to come and listen and take part in the daylong readings of the writings and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that will take place at the church from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20.  Anyone in attendance will be invited to come to the lectern and indicate they wish to read.  Admission is free.  Christ Church Cathedral is located at 13th and Locust in Downtown St. Louis.  Need more information?  Call (314) 348-6453.

Jan. 20 -- Civic Ceremony, March of Celebration, and Interfaith Service, beginning at the Old Courthouse, 9:45 a.m.

Everyone is invited to participate in the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday activities on Monday, Jan. 20 that will begin with a Civic Ceremony at 9:45 a.m. at the Old Courthouse, 4th and Market.  The program will include remarks from elected officials and other dignitaries, music, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. awards.  The March of Celebration will begin at 11 a.m. from the Old Courthouse and proceed to Powell Hall at Grand and Delmar for an Interfaith Service.  The service, "MLK Salutes," will begin at 12:30 p.m. and include soloists, choirs and ministers.  Admission is free.  Celebration buttons may be obtained by calling (314) 583-0532 or (314) 484-4027.

Jan. 20 -- MLK Day Celebration, Eric P. Newman Education Center, 11:30 a.m.

The Eric P. Newman Education Center will host "50 Years….Still Embracing the Dream:  MLK Day Celebration" at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20.  Guests will enjoy a musical prelude at 11:30 a.m. before guest speaker Rev. Michael Jones, senior pastor of Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, reflects on the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The center is located at 320 S. Euclid Avenue in the trendy Central West End neighborhood.  For all the details, visit the web site.

Jan. 20 -- Money Management Seminar, The Bridge at Centenary UMC, 12:30 p.m.

To honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20 as a day of service, the St. Louis Metropolitan Area Chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Veterans For Peace, and The Bridge Program at Centenary Church will host a Foundations of Money Management Seminar II for the public beginning at 12:30 p.m. at The Bridge, 1610 Olive Street in Downtown St. Louis.  The workshop is designed to provide aspiring homeowners with information about the current housing market, how to address credit and budgeting challenges, home maintenance and more.  Guests are invited to stay after the workshop for the main MLK, Jr. Day of Service observance program which will start at 3:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Centenary Church.  Questions?  Contact

Jan. 20 -- Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, St. Stanislaus Polish Church, 4 p.m.

A Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will take place at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church at 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20.  The free ecumenical gathering will feature a re-enactment of the "I Have A Dream" speech by civic and community leaders, music and reflection. The church is located at 1413 N. 20th Street in the Carr Square neighborhood.  Go to the web site for more information.

Jan. 24 -- Event Greening Workshop, Kerr Foundation, 8:30 a.m.

The St. Louis Earth Day organization will hold an Event Greening Workshop on Friday, Jan. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kerr Foundation, 21 O'Fallon Street in the North Riverfront neighborhood.  Guest speakers will answer the "why" to event greening and will focus on theory, practice and tools for event organizers to implement waste reduction and waste diversion strategies.  This is a terrific opportunity for any professional or volunteer event organizer.  The deadline to register is Friday, Jan. 17.  To learn more, visit the web site.


Save the Date

Jan. 23 – 26 -- St. Louis Auto Show, America's Center, Noon

Jan. 25 – Free Tax Preparation, Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Center, 9 a.m.

Jan. 26 – Bach Society of Saint Louis Young Artist Recital, Second Presbyterian Church, 4 p.m.


Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight? If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration. You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is on the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.


Youth Community Service Grants

Faith-based, school-based and neighborhood-based youth organizations in the City of St. Louis are encouraged to apply for the St. Louis Mental Health Board's Youth Community Service Mini Grant program.  The grants promote young people making a difference in their community through service projects.  The implementation of the community service projects must occur between February and July 2014.  The deadline for grant applications is Friday, Jan. 24.  For more information and to obtain an application package, go online at

Charlene Deeken
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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