NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- The fire department at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (NSGB) hosted "Fire Prevention Week" (FPW), Oct. 8-14, on base.
"Fire Prevention Week" was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 fire that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.
"The most effective way of avoiding injury and damage by fire is the prevention of the fire," said Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Fire Department Fire Inspector Jason Kunkel. "There are three main goals of fire prevention: first and foremost life safety, second to prevent property damage, and third is to protect operations."
During fire prevention week, the NSGB Fire Department held several events including an open house at Fire House 1; evacuation drills at the child development center, youth center, teen center and the hospital; fire prevention displays at the Navy Exchange atrium; welcoming arrivals at Ferry Landing with Sparky; visiting the child development center and W. T. Sampson Elementary/ High School with equipment displays; and participating in the National Night Out event to promote fire prevention.
One of the primary messages the fire department wanted to resonate with residents is the importance of having a plan.
"One of the best ways to be prepared is to have an escape plan," said Kunkel. "Have two ways out from each bedroom and living space, establish a meeting place, and never go back into a burning building."
Inspector Kunkel added that as we enter the holiday season, there are many things to consider. Below is a list of holiday safety tips.
- Inspect light strings and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don't run more than three strings of lights end to end.
- Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. The five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Halloween, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Reduce the danger by maintaining about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Set candles on sturdy bases or cover with hurricane globes. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.
-Turkey fryers come with a slew of safety issues. Thousands of fires, as well as many deaths and injuries, happen each year due to turkey fryer fires. Before you set up your turkey fryer for Thanksgiving, remember these safety tips: 1) Stay Away from The House - Set up the turkey fryer more than 15 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. Never leave it unattended. 2) Find Flat Ground - The oil must be even and steady at all times to ensure safety. Place the fryer on a flat, level surface and carefully gauge the amount of oil needed. 3) Use a Thawed and Dry Turkey - Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire. 4) Monitor the Temp - Use caution when touching the turkey fryer. The lid and handle can become very hot and could cause burns. Also be sure to keep track of the oil's temperature as many fryers do not have their own thermostats. 5) Be Prepared - Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites.
- It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames. A Christmas tree is almost explosive when it goes. If you have a real tree, make sure that it is not dry and you give it plenty of water.
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