Spring is time to start thinking fire safety

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Michael Wilsbach
  • 6th Civil Engineer Squadron Assistant Chief of Fire
Spring is here and it is time to put away the seasonal decorations, and prepare for summer activities. Spring-cleaning is an annual ritual for many people and the ideal time to check our homes and yards for dangerous materials, unsafe conditions and ensure our families are safe from potential fires. We all tend to accumulate clothes, boxes and other things throughout the year. It's amazing how quickly our garages and basements fill up with storage so it's important to clean those out to prevent piling items that can contribute to the spread of fires. 

Here are a few fire tips to look for during your annual spring-cleaning: 

- Check and correct frayed or damaged wiring: It's a good ideal to check all appliance and extension cords for frayed or damaged wiring. 

- Clean behind large furniture and appliances: It's always a good idea to move your appliances to vacuum and clean behind them. Not only will you make sure the area is free from dust and lint that is a fire hazard, but it will extend the life of your furniture and appliances as well. 

-Clean smoke detectors: Lightly run a vacuum over your smoke detectors and change the batteries. This will ensure proper operation in the event of an emergency. 

- Barbecue Grills: Place grills at least 15 feet from buildings and overhangs. Store charcoal in a dry, cool location. Be sure to thoroughly inspect your grill before use; BBQ grills are a favorite winter hiding place for small animals. 

- Recycle: Get rid of old newspapers, magazines and junk mail. These items tend to pileup and can greatly contribute to the spread of fire. 

- Remove leaves and trash from carports and garages: Combustible materials such as leaves and paper products are dangerous if they are exposed to heated automobile components. 

- Properly store flammable liquids and home chemicals: Make sure that gasoline and home chemicals well marked and out of the reach of children and pets. All flammables, i.e., gasoline should be stored in a cool dry place outside the house. Also properly identified and stored household chemicals and out of the reach of children and pets. 

- Plan your escape: This is a good time to sit down with your family and discuss what to do in the event of a fire and identify your meeting place outside the house. 

We hope these tips will help to get you started on your way to a safe and enjoyable summer season. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to the MacDill Fire Prevention Office at 828-4236.