JBLM springs forward with fire safety tips
Washington National Guard Sgt. Matt Eagen sprays water on burning wood outside Chelan, Wash. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Associated Press ) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. –  Spring is near in the Pacific Northwest. With warmer, clearer days ahead and some COVID-19 restrictions lifting, it is more important than ever to remain aware of your surroundings and keep fire prevention in mind.

Before rushing to outdoor events to enjoy the weather and soak up some sun, consider these tips from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fire Prevention team to keep you and your family safe. That means attending more outdoor events, so before you head out, ensure the following safety measures are completed.

  • Before going out, turn off all heating devices, including the stove.  
  • Remove and properly store material that can ignite. 
  • Move towels and rags at least 36 inches away from any heat source. 
  • Regularly test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 
  • Before you go to bed March 13, take the time to change the batteries in your clocks and detectors when you “spring forward.” 

Another great way to practice fire prevention is to get rid of items you don’t use. A good rule of thumb is: if you haven’t put your hand on it in the last six months, it’s time to sell or give it away.

Be sure to properly dispose of old boxes and papers that are no longer needed, as these have the power to easily intensify home fires.

Before breaking out the weedwhacker and enjoying the lawn, ensure that your garden power equipment is in good working order. Prevent mechanical malfunction and possible fire danger by checking fuel fittings are snug and wont leak on the hot engine.

The same rules apply for barbecue equipment. They should be inspected, repaired and replaced when needed.

Whether you use charcoal or propane and propane accessories, protect yourself and your home by applying a soapy water solution to any hoses before hitting that igniter. This will help prevent leaks.

Also, follow your manufacturer’s recommended safety guidelines. Keep the grill lid open until the fire is ignited. If the flame goes out after closing it, open the lid and air out any residual combustible gas before starting.

Remember, all barbecues and grills need to be at least 15 feet away from any structure. When using charcoal, let the ash cool before disposal.

Don’t get burned out before summer has a chance to begin. Follow these tips, and stay safe so that the JBLM community can continue with a fire-safe year.

For more tips and fire safety information, call 253-966-7156 or visit Lewis-McChord Fire and Emergency Services on Facebook.