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Fire Safety House will have new home

December 4, 2012

Contact: Jeannie Roberts (440) 885-8181/(216) 346-9935 

PARMA, Ohio –The Fire Safety House will have a new home - Parma Community General Hospital’s Health Education Center – and a brand new structure. After a thorough survey of options, it has been determined that rebuilding the structure is cheaper than re-locating the existing house.

That recommendation comes from Parma’s Public Works Coordinator Jack Sparks and Fire Chief John French.

In the meantime, fire education for kids will continue in Parma City School District classrooms. “Our administration has always been committed to this program, and it will continue even while the house is being rebuilt,” Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “This program saves lives,”

The City will save approximately $30,000 by rebuilding the house at the Health Education Center. Moving the existing structure from Parma Hospital’s MAC 4 parking lot to the Health Education Center would have cost approximately $139,500, whereas demolishing the existing house and rebuilding it from scratch would cost about $110,000.

About $84,000 of the cost of moving the house would come from compensating utility companies for cutting wires, including fiber optic cables, because the structure is too tall to navigate under them. Then, once cut, the utilities would need to be reattached. This would be a major project, costing more than $84,000 and inconveniencing residents in the middle of the relocation. Accordingly, the house has been dismantled.

“Rebuilding is definitely the best option,” said Parma Safety Director Greg Baeppler. “Not only does it save money, but it allows us to actually make the program stronger by building the house more specifically for this purpose.”

For example, the new house would include a full basement with a secondary egress window, an important feature because numerous residents in Parma might face that scenario in a live fire. The existing structure lacks that dimension. Moreover, contained within the new fire safety house, there would be a burned-room display including a sprinklered and non-sprinklered area, a larger classroom area and a ground floor where, for teaching purposes, there are two ways to exit the building.