[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    October 9, 2009

Fort McCoy to observe Fire Prevention Month with activities

Fire Prevention Month will be observed during October at Fort McCoy, with a number of activities scheduled during Oct.5-9 to help increase awareness, said Curt Ladwig, Fort McCoy fire inspector.
Photo: Members of the Fort McCoy Fire Department are ready to support emergency needs of the Fort McCoy community. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Members of the Fort McCoy Fire Department are ready to support emergency needs of the Fort McCoy community.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

Installation organizations will conduct unannounced fire drills during the week, in accordance with Fort McCoy Fire Regulation 420-3.

Ladwig said the Fort McCoy Fire and Emergency Services Division, Fire Prevention Branch also has a 15-minute video entitled “Ten Tips for Fire Safety,” available, which could be incorporated into monthly safety meetings. This also will be shown on Fort McCoy TV-6 during October.

Anyone who was not able to participate in the fire drill or watch the video, can call Ladwig at 608-388-4077 to reschedule or to obtain more information.

The week of Oct. 4-10 has been designated as Fire Prevention Week across America, with this year’s theme “Stay Fire Smart! – Don’t Get Burned” designed to encourage people to brush up on their fire-safety knowledge and skills.

Ladwig said fire departments responded to nearly 1.5 million fires in the United States in 2008, including 515,000 structure fires, with 403,000 of those in residential properties. More than 16,700 people were injured, and 3,320 people killed. On average, three children a day, nearly 1,000 in a year, were killed. Fire officials estimated that 80 percent of these deaths occurred in homes without working smoke alarms.

Members of the Fort McCoy Fire and Emergency Services Division also encourage people in the Fort McCoy community to take time during the month to make their homes safer from fire, as well.

Fire-safety plans should include a home floor plan with two separate ways out of each room. The plan should be placed in a prominent area where family members can become familiar with the plan, and it also should be practiced on a regular basis.

Smoke alarms/detectors should be installed on every level of the home, including the basement and the attic, and near sleeping areas. Detectors should be tested monthly, with significant dates, such as the change to Daylight Savings Time Nov. 1, used to remember to put new batteries into the detectors.

Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher, which should be in an easy-to-access location and tested once a month to ensure it is fully charged and operational.

All sleeping areas on the second floor should have an escape ladder located in each bedroom. People always should sleep with bedroom doors shut, which will prevent fire and smoke from getting into a room too quickly and allow occupants additional time to escape. Flashlights should be located in every room so occupants can use them in an emergency if the lights go out.


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