Avoid yelling fire

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

When it comes to fire, keeping it inside the grill and away from our families and belongings is one of the highest priorities. In the summer months, when barbecues and bonfires are commonplace, it is important to remember how to use them in a positive and safe manner.

18th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters respond to fire-related incidents that have already started. There are, however, actions that can be taken before an incident occurs to ensure the safety of yourself, your family and your neighbors.

“Having situational awareness can help prevent fires,” said Airman 1st Class John Espaillat, 18th CES firefighter. “If you’re cooking on a stove or grill, making sure you have nothing loose and flammable near the heat can help prevent an incident. Making sure outlets aren’t overloaded can also help reduce the chance of surprise fires.”

With the 4th of July weekend fast approaching, fireworks and grilling are expected. Making sure there is a plan for how to safely grill and knowing if and when it is okay to utilize fireworks can make the holiday safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

“With the 4th of July holiday coming up, we just want to make sure everyone is safe,” said Senior Airman Brandon Hudson, 18th CES fire inspector. “Everyone should know that fireworks are illegal on base and that when grilling, make sure you’re in an area free from overhangs. Also, watch the kids and don’t leave them around a grill or fire unattended.”

In addition to ensuring all precautions are taken to prevent fires, having a plan in the event of one is just as important.

“Make sure you know where your fire extinguishers are located,” said Hudson. “Placing it within sight while grilling is a good way to keep it available in the event it’s needed. Once the grilling has been wrapped up, pour plenty of water over the coals to put them out and allow them to cool before disposing of them.”

For more information on plans and programs regarding fire and summer safety, the 18th CES is conducting a fire-prevention campaign July 8 at the Kadena Base Exchange. The event will include information, a bounce house, a “smoke trailer” emergency situation simulator and a visit from Sparky the Fire Dog.