Risk Reduction

Fire Prevention
The Fire Prevention Section provides fire prevention services to the City of Manhattan. The Deputy Fire Marshal, Ryan Courtright, and two staff captains, Jack Lousch and Jake Powell, staff this section.

This section is responsible for the inspection of all businesses, schools, churches, day care centers and many other structures open to the public. The staff also inspects apartment houses with three or more living units. The section conducts approximately 1,800 inspections per year.

Fire Investigation
The staff of the Fire Prevention Section assists in the investigation of fires and is primarily responsible for the investigation of all incendiary fires. Investigators receive ongoing training and are certified by the Kansas State Fire Marshal.

Plan Review
All plans for new construction are reviewed to verify compliance with current fire codes and standards.

Public Education
Public fire education is one of the cornerstones of fire safety, and through it, the number of fires and lives lost can be reduced. Seasonal and topical programs are presented throughout the year, with approximately 1,100 children and 400 adults touring the facilities annually. Elementary school children in Manhattan USD 383 are taught fire prevention each year through a program that includes safety talks, fire safety handouts and life safety equipment demonstrations.

Home Safety Checks
The key to surviving a fire is preventing one from occurring. Anyone interested in scheduling a home safety check should contact the Fire Department. The firefighters will go over common fire problems with the homeowner and offer non-binding suggestions. Common questions have to do with the placement of smoke detectors and the maintenance of fireplaces and chimneys.

Operation Rescue Alert
Some members of the community experience limited mobility or special needs due to illness, disability, injury or age. The Department would like to know about anyone who may need special assistance in escaping their home in the event of a fire. Since 1977, a program has been in place to enter people along with their addresses into a database program that is accessed en-route to a fire. These services can be used by calling 785-587-4504.

Outdoor Fire Policy
Many hardware and discount stores are selling outdoor fireplaces for use in the backyard and on the deck. These fireplaces are made of clay or sheet metal and vary in size from 1 foot in diameter to 4 feet in diameter. The Manhattan Fire Department has looked at these fireplaces and wants the citizens of Manhattan to know how they should be used. The Manhattan Fire Department has developed a policy using the International Fire Code as adopted by the City of Manhattan for the basis of the policy.