SJAFB gets cooking with National Fire Prevention Week

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SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – The 4th Civil Engineer Squadron fire emergency services and the National Fire Protection Association is scheduled to host a National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8-14.

“The goals of fire prevention week are to promote fire safety practices in every community throughout our nation,” said Harold Breindel, 4th CES fire inspector.

According to the NFPA, fire prevention week is observed each year during the week of Oct. 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct. 8, 1871, and lasted for more than 24 hours. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

The 4th Fighter Wing fire department held several events throughout the week to include a fire prevention storytime at the base library and Sparky the Fire Dog at the entry control gates handing out swag and pamphlets.

This year’s message for the nationwide campaign is: “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.”

“In a fire, seconds count,” said Breindel. “Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.

The NFPA shared some tips to ensure everyone can “Cook with Caution.”
Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
If you have a small (grease) cooking fire
Smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire...
Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
“Since 1922, there has been a national campaign to promote fire safety,” said Sean Tucker, 4th CES fire inspector. “All fire emergency service departments are in the business of saving lives. If we can do this by preventing a fire from starting, then we have achieved our goals.”

Three of every five deaths from fire are the result of fires in homes that don’t have smoke alarms or don’t have working smoke alarms, added Tucker.

“Most people don’t understand how fast a deadly home fire is and that it can happen to them,” said Breindel. “They don’t realize that smoke, rather than flames, is more often the killer. We need the American public to take steps to keep themselves and their families safe.”

This year’s goal for the campaign is to improve cooking safety and to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe when cooking.

To wrap up the week the 4th CES fire department will be hosting an open house Oct. 14 from 10 a.m.- 1pm. For more information on Fire Prevention Week, contact the Seymour Johnson Fire Prevention office at (919) 722-3838.