By Delanie Stafford, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 17, 2016
After Offutt experienced four fires in less than a week, fire officials want to remind everyone to practice good fire safety habits.
“It’s kind of rare to have this many fires,” said Deputy Fire Chief Bill Dudek. “We go through periods of years without any major fires; here we had four in a week. They’ve all been preventable.”
According to Dudek, housekeeping was a significant factor in most of the cases. He said paying attention to the little things can go a long way.
“Make sure your trash is taken out, watch your smoking materials,” Dudek said. “In one situation, the individual had clothes right up against the water heater. You need to maintain some space around the water heater.”
One of the fires was caused by a barbeque grill being used underneath a porch. Dudek said grills should never be used underneath a structure and should be placed at least 10 feet away from a house.
With warmer weather approaching, fire pits are also a concern. He advised placing fire pits a minimum of 15 feet away from structures. Dudek added that fire pit ashes can remain hot for days and should be properly extinguished before dumping.
Dudek said even a small fire can be costly and disruptive to your life. All three of the housing fires were in duplex units, which also affected adjoining residents. He said purchasing renter’s insurance is the best way to protect yourself and your family from an unnecessary financial hardship.
He added that fire alarms should be tested once a month. However, testing them when daylight savings time occurs in the spring and fall is a good way to ensure they are tested at least twice a year. He also said households should have a fire evacuation plan and practice it regularly.
For more fire safety tips, click on the following links:
Smoking Safety Tips
Wildfire Safety Tips
Dryer Safety Tips
Grilling Safety Tips