A free seminar on fire safety in old buildings, including repairs that can hinder firefighters, will be presented Saturday by the city's Historic Preservation Office in collaboration with the Madison Main Street Program and the Cornerstone Society.

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Jefferson County Public Library Madison Branch. Reservations are requested because seating is limited. To make reservations, call (812) 274-2750.

The speakers at "Play it Safe in Your Old House: What's in Your Home Can Kill You!" will be Madison Fire Chief Steve Horton and city building inspector Mark Johnson. Camille Fife, the city preservation planner, will be the emcee and will answer questions about the historic district ordinance.

"Dangerous construction methods, repairs and materials will be discussed, as well as new rules for building construction," the workshop announcement said. "Learn from recent disasters how to make your home safe. Some kinds of repairs have actually hindered firefighters' efforts and caused more danger and damage than necessary. The information given in this workshop will be helpful and of interest to all home and building owners in Madison."

Horton is a certified fire code inspector. He will talk about prevention and safety methods, using examples. He is a fire and arson investigator and is the commercial building inspector for the city. He has been with the fire department since 1979 and has been the fire chief since 1984. He is also a certified National Fire Protection Association fire training instructor for levels II and III, and works closely with Madison's all-volunteer fire companies.

Johnson, who has been the building inspector since January, managed his own construction firm for 12 years, working on new construction and remodeling. He has dismantled and re-erected a historic log cabin, among many other projects. He is the inspector for single-family and multifamily residential projects in the city. He also enforces historic district, safety and nuisance ordinances. Before beginning his own firm, he was a music teacher in Madison and in Trimble County, Ky., for 25 years. He is the conductor of Madison's Community Band.

Refreshments will be served. Although there is no charge for the workshop, donations will be accepted.

For more information contact Fife at (812) 274-2750 or (812) 239-1107.