Spring fire safety

Courtesy of the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron
Phoro courtesy of shutterstock.com
Phoro courtesy of shutterstock.com

The warm spring weather has finally arrived. It’s time for spring cleaning, barbecuing and practicing home fire safty plans. So before firing up a gas barbecue grill, here are some helpful recommendations from the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department. Grills should be inspected to ensure there is no buildup of grease or spider webs that inhibit the flow of gas to the controls. Ensure rodents have not made a nest in the area of the hoses and controls over the winter. This can cause propane to leak and ignite when the grill is ignited. If such a condition occurs, turn off the gas supply at the controls (if the controls are not on fire). If the controls are on fire, turn off the gas at the supply (propane tank). Call 1-1-2 to report the incident and the fire department will respond to ensure the fire is out and the gas is properly turned off. The following are fire safety facts and tips for grills from the National Fire Protection Association. • Twenty-seven percent of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio. 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and

6 percent started in the kitchen.

• Almost a quarter of the outside gas grills and 29 percent of gas grill structure fires started when a flammable or combustible gas or liquid caught fire.

• Check for a gas leak by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and watch for bubbles to form indicating a leak.

• Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors.

• Never leave a grill unattended.

• Additionally, if using a chimney or fire pit consider this: all it takes is one spark for things to go wrong. A carelessly abandoned fire pit or a campfire built in a designated area without safe clearance can turn a small fire into a dangerous and fast-moving blaze. Be sure to build a campfire in a way that does not endanger anyone or the surrounding forest and abide by local laws and regulations. Enjoy a safe campfire by following these campfire safety tips:

• Choose a spot that’s downwind, protected from wind gusts and at least 15 feet from tents and gear.

• Clear a 10-foot diameter area around the site by removing any grass, twigs, leaves and firewood.

• Dig a pit and circle the edge with rocks.

• Always be sure to keep a bucket of water or shovel nearby.

• Spring is a great time here in Germany.

The Kaiserslautern Military Community Fire Department wants it to be a safe season. For questions, contact the fire prevention office at 480-5940 or 06371-47-5940.