BASINGSTOKE fire station hosted a family fun day with a serious safety message.
Visitors got the chance to try out the fire hoses, explore some fire engines and chat to local firefighters about their work.
Brian Rudman, group manager of Basingstoke and Deane area, said: “It’s a good chance for us to promote what we do here and to engage with the local community.
“But it’s also about reminding people to be careful. The displays and demonstrations we have here should really get the message out there.
“We would always advise people to leave the room and call us when a fire breaks out, rather than trying to put it out themselves.”
Among the eye-opening displays was a demonstration of what happens if water is poured on a chip pan fire – with gasps from the crowd as a fireball exploded from the demonstration stand, reaching a heat of about 1,000 degrees.
Also at the open day were representatives from local police and ambulance services.
Special Constable Leigh Lush, who is based at Basingstoke, helped to organise the police stand.
He said: “We’re letting the kids try on riot gear, giving away some freebies and letting people have a look inside a prison van.
“It’s all just about community involvement and building good relationships within the community.”
As well as learning more about local emergency services, visitors got the chance to try out sumo wrestling in giant fat suits, take part in various games and grab some fast food from the stalls at the station, in West Ham Close.
Among those at the event was Sally Patey, 36, and her three-year-old son Logan.
Sally, of Lawrence Close, Popley, Basingstoke, said: “Logan is really enjoying himself. He loves everything to do with firefighting and he wants to be a firefighter one day.”
The event raised money for three charities – The Fire Fighters Charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.