If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen

Story and photos by Airman 1st Class Kristof J. Rixmann
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Kaiserslautern Military Community Fire Emergency Services members and American Red Cross members pose in front of their booth at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center May 11 on Ramstein Air Base. The team handed out 200 free smoke detector batteries in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of fire safety.

Kaiserslautern Military Com-munity Fire Emergency Service members and American Red Cross members handed out two hundred free smoke detector batteries and fire safety information brochures to customers at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center May 10 at Ramstein Air Base.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross also visited single family residences on Ramstein May 12 where they provided important information and tips concerning what to do in the event of a fire.

These efforts were designed to emphasize continued awareness on fire safety. Mrs. Phyllis Cohn, American Red Cross regional program director for armed forces, in Ramstein, acknowledges it’s easy for families to neglect proper precautions for fire safety.

“People always think it’s not going to happen to me,” Cohn said. “So, what we’re doing at the American Red Cross with our partners at the fire department here is to give them the education they need to make smart decisions about their home fire safety. This is about protecting your families. There are really simple little things you can do to be ready just in case something should happen.”

According to the American Red Cross at the KMCC, the following are precautions military members and their families can take to maximize their safety before or during a fire.

Test alarms monthly. If you do not hear the alarm, change the battery and retest. If the alarm still does not sound, replace the unit.

Replace batteries twice a year or when you hear the low battery sound. Daylight Saving Time is an easy-to-remember time to change them.

Have a plan. Sit down with loved ones and coordinate two home escape plans. Plan how to leave the home and establish a safe meeting point for family members to reunite after escaping the fire.

Have a “go-kit.” A go-kit is a bag or backpack containing prescription drugs, blankets, stuffed animals for children, food and leashes for pets, and any other items that will make a temporary relocation easier for a family during the event of a fire. This kit should be placed near the door where it can be grabbed easily.

Store important documents in a fire box. If families do not own a fire box, place important documents in a seal-proof bag and place the bag in the freezer. The freezer will likely be the least damaged object in the home after a fire due to its temperature.

Taking necessary precautions in preparation for a fire is an important first step, but remaining attentive during every-day activities is equally important to prevent fires from ever happening in the first place.

“If we’re talking about fires in the homes, the biggest causes are related to cooking,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Hyde, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron fire prevention non-commissioned officer in charge. “There are a lot of distractions these days. It’s very easy to not pay attention to the food you’re cooking but people need to remain aware and not leave their food unattended.”

Above all, remember to contact the fire department during the event of a fire. For families living off-base, dial 112. For families living on-base, dial 06371-47112.


Nine volt smoke detector batteries are displayed next to plastic fire chief hats and fidget-spinners displaying the phone number, 112, which an individual should dial in the case of an emergency, May 11 on Ramstein Air Base. The American Red Cross recommends families to test their smoke alarms on a monthly basis and to replace them every six months.