Health & Safety

October 3, 2013

You can prevent kitchen fires

355 Civil Engineer Squadron

Your home should be a safe haven, but do you regularly check for fire hazards?

The 2013 Fire Prevention Week campaign will run from 6-12 October and the theme is “Prevent Kitchen Fires”. It is all about keeping you, your family, and the Desert Lightning community safe from a fire.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments, both military and civilian across the country. For over 91 years, fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record. It commemorates the great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 residents, left 100,000 more homeless, and destroyed more than 17,400 buildings.

“This year, we will concentrate our efforts on how to best provide continuous fire safety education and public awareness information as we strive to deliver world class fire emergency services,” said Lt Col John Tryon, 355 Civil Engineer Squadron Commander. “It’s a great honor to be part of this year’s campaign and we hope the entire Desert Lightning Team takes advantage of the free events scheduled throughout the week.”

In 2013 Air Combat Command Fire Departments responded to 113 fire calls, totaling $23,436,780 in loss.

“Saving lives is my number one priority” said Fire Chief Scott Cline. “My goal is to ensure every Airman and their family, civilians, contractors and our retirees who visit or live on the installation has accessibility to world class 911 services.”

Being alerted to the presence of fire safety in your home and knowing what to do to mitigate the situation is very important. With a little extra caution, preventing the leading causes of home fires – cooking, heating, electrical and smoking-materials – is within your power.

“The goal of the Davis-Monthan Fire Department is to assist assigned Airmen and their families on fire and life safety issues in the home by educating residents on how to identify and correct fire hazards where we live,” said Mr. Raymond LeClair, Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention.

Fire safety is more than education; it’s having the right attitude that saves the lives.

“We often hear from residents that have experienced a fire in their home, or where a serious injury occurred, in most all cases it could have all been prevented” said Mr. LeClair. “With our busy lives, the safety of our homes and families are sometimes relegated to the back of our minds – an afterthought as we hop in the car to start the day. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will prompt the members of the Davis-Monthan community to prevent home fires and injuries to fellow Airmen and family members regardless of where you live or work.”

You’ll find educational material and tip sheets on the leading causes of home fires, information about protecting your home and families with-life saving technologies, and the importance of home escape planning below and at various locations around the installation during the annual campaign sponsored by the 355 Civil Engineer Squadron, Fire Emergency Services flight.

Although it is difficult to prepare for the unexpected, reviewing the information below and following the recommended actions can help to save the lives of your family.

Home Fires 

Most fatal fires kill one or two people. In 2011, 12 home fires killed five or more people resulting in a total of 67 deaths.

Have an escape route with an alternate route, also practice with family members at least monthly. Have a central rallying point for everyone to meet at.

Cooking

Unattended cooking was a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires

If you must leave turn cooking food off and remove from stove top, always have an ABC extinguisher in vicinity of the stove.

Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.

Turn all skillet and pot handles in away from the reach of children, and if possible cook on the back burners.

Heating 

The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.

The National Fire Protection Association states that chimneys shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearance. Clean if necessary.

In most years, heating is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries. Fixed or portable space heaters are involved in about 4 out of 5 heating fire deaths.

Ensure portable heaters are UL test/approved, and equipped with an automatic shutoff switch if tipped over.

Smoking Materials 

Sleep was a factor in one-third of the home smoking material fire deaths.

Never fall asleep with a lit cigarette, ensure all smoking material has been extinguished prior to going to bed.

Electrical 

Half (49%) of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Other leading types of equipment were washer or dryer, fan, portable or stationary space heater, air conditioning equipment, water heater and range.

Ensure all electrical appliances are in good repair, if any maintenance or repair need to be done to the appliances, have a licensed and bonded repair person complete the work.

Candles 

More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.

Never leave a burning candle unattended, and also remove all material that can be ignited away from a lit candle.

Smoke Alarms 

Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 92% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 77% of the time.

Test smoke alarms at least monthly to ensure proper working order, facilitate home fire drills in conjunction with testing smoke alarms.

The following is a list of scheduled activities that will take place during Fire Prevention Week:

Oct. 7, (Monday) 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Commissary 

Fire Truck static display, Blood Pressure checks, Fire Safety information, Fire Extinguisher demonstrations.

Oct. 8 (Tuesday) 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Child Development Center 

Fire Truck static display with “Sparky & Pumper”.

Oct. 8 (Tuesday) Noon – 3 p.m. AAFES Main Exchange 

Fire Safety information, Fire Truck static display, Fire Detection and Suppression items sponsored by AAFES

Oct. 9 (Wednesday) 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.  Child Development Center 

Fire Truck static display with “Sparky & Pumper”.

Oct. 9 (Tuesday) Noon – 3 p.m.  AAFES Main Exchange 

Fire Safety information, Fire Truck static display, Fire Detection and Suppression items sponsored by AAFES

Oct. 9 (Thursday) 9 – 11:30 a.m. School Age Program 

Fire Truck static display, Public Education Trailer and Sparky

Oct. 10 (Thursday) 2:30- 4:30 p.m. Youth Center Visit 

Fire Truck static display, Public Education Trailer and Sparky

Oct. 11 (Friday) 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. AAFES Main Exchange

Fire Truck static display, Blood Pressure checks, Fire Safety information, Fire Extinguisher demonstrations, and Fire Detection and Suppression items sponsored by AAFES

Oct. 12 (Saturday) 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open House Fire Station One

Station tours, Fire Trucks, Confined Space & Hazardous Material Equipment static displays, Fire safety Education Trailer, Fire Extinguisher demonstrations, Mini Firefighter Challenge Course for children (Hose rolling, Hose carry, Hose lifting, Protective clothing drill, Fire nozzle drill, and Kiser sled).

It is important to remember that fire safety starts in the home. If you have any questions or would like to arrange an in-home fire safety visit please contact the Davis-Monthan Fire Emergency Services Flight, Fire Prevention section at 228-4333/6027 to schedule an appointment.




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(U.S. Air Force photos by Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross)

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