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Back to school fire safety refresher

Northwest Guardian

Published: 12:00AM August 28th, 2014
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Return of the JBLM Fire Fair

Monday, Oct. 6

JBLM Lewis Main CDC visits with Sparky the Fire Dog from 9-9:30 a.m.

JBLM Lewis Main AAFES Exchange from 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

- Fire prevention training trailer and demonstrations

- Fire apparatus static display

- Sparky and Inflatable Firefighter

JBLM McChord Field CDC visit with Sparky from 9-9:30 a.m.

JBLM McChord Field AAFES Exchange from 10:45 a.m-1 p.m.

- Fire prevention table and literature

- Fire apparatus static display

- Sparky

Wednesday, Oct. 8

Madigan Children’s Ward visit with Sparky from 9-9:30 a.m.

Thursday, Oct. 9

JBLM Lewis Main Schools visit from 9-9:30 a.m.

JBLM McChord Field School visit from 9-9:30 a.m.

Friday, Oct. 10

JBLM Lewis Main School visit from 9-9:30 a.m.

Saturday, Oct. 11

Fire Safety Fair at MWR Tent 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

- Fire prevention trailer

- Fire apparatus static display

- Sparky, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog and the Inflatable Firefighter

It’s that time of the year again – as children on Joint Base Lewis-McChord went back to school Wednesday, Aug. 27, Edward Chavez, fire inspector from JBLM’s Fire and Emergency Services office, said parents should refresh their children’s minds on fire prevention and safety.

“We want to educate parents that have kids going back to school,” Chavez said. “We want to make sure they are aware of fire safety and unique situations that we may not have in the summer.”

National Fire Prevention Week (NFPW) is coming up – running Oct. 5 through 11. During NFPW, the annual Fire Fair will return, after last year’s cancellation during the sequestration, and other events will take place on JBLM to make learning fun and informative, Chavez said. The main fair event will be Oct. 11.

“Fire education is important, and we like to encourage parents to educate their children,” Chavez said.

Safety tips

Chavez said having refreshers on fire safety throughout the school year is important for children.

“The number one reason for accidental fires happens when people cook,” Chavez said. “It’s the number one leading causes of home fires and injures. We want to make sure kids are educated on proper cooking techniques.”

Safety tips for cooking include: keeping anything that can catch fire (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, curtains) away from the stovetop; stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food (if you must leave, turn the stove off); if you have a pan fire, slide a lid on the pan and turn off the burner; have a child-free zone of at least three feet around areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or carried.

Chavez added that sometimes children might be home alone after school and may use the microwave to make or heat up food quickly.

Microwave safety tips include: never use aluminum foil or metal in a microwave oven; plug in the microwave directly into the wall outlet (never use an extension cord); open food slowly, away from the face as hot steam can cause burns; food heats unevenly in a microwave, so stir and test before eating or giving to others; use only microwave-safe food containers or dishes.

Also, as another back-to-school safety reminder, Chavez said he wants to remind parents that a juvenile curfew (JBLM Child Supervision Policy) is imposed on JBLM between the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. each day. Sponsors should ensure that minors under the age of 18 are inside their assigned dwelling; inside the dwelling of another, where sponsor supervisions is provided; at their workplace; or in attendance at an organized, chaperoned youth activity during those periods.

Special considerations from the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) states that children ages 9 and under shouldn’t be left home alone.

October fire fair

The JBLM Fire Fair will run from Oct. 5 to 11. Events will include a fire prevention training trailer, demonstrations and visits from Sparky the Fire Dog, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog and the Inflatable Firefighter.

All of the events are free to the public.

Any active-duty firefighters wishing to volunteer for the event can contact James Lasecki at 253-966-7323 or Tony Taylor at 253-982-1176.

For more information, call JBLM Fire Chief Don Lane at 253-966-7156.