Focus on fire safety

Published 4:43 pm Saturday, October 6, 2012

Daily Herald Editorial

The Austin Fire Department will kick off Fire Safety Week on Monday, and everyone should take time to consider the dangers of fire and how easily a blaze can start.

A prime example is a Sept. 30 deck fire on the 500 Block of 14th Street NW mentioned in an Oct. 2 Herald story. Thanks to the quick actions of a neighbor, the fire was put out with a garden hose before firefighters arrived. No one was injured and there was only minor damage to the deck and property, but it could have been a lot worse. A firefighter told a Herald reporter on scene that such fires can be far more dangerous and damaging if they start at 2 a.m. when everyone, including the quick-thinking neighbor, would likely be asleep.

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It’s also noteworthy that the fire was started by a cigarette that wasn’t properly put out.

With the drought conditions continuing and the autumn leaves falling from trees, there’s much material for cigarettes and any spark can ignite it.

The DNR is once again warning of high fire dangers from dry conditions, and Austin Fire Chief Mickey Healey is discouraging locals from having recreational fires.

As the Sept. 30 deck fire proved, it doesn’t take much to start fires, so everyone needs to use caution and be prepared.


Fire Safety Week

The Austin Fire Department will visit area schools in the coming days for Fire Safety Week, which is Oct. 7 -13.

The AFD will hold its open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the fire station. Trucks will be on display, along with firefighting equipment and fire hose games for children. More events may be held outside, weather permitting.