PLATTSMOUTH – To learn fire prevention tips is important anytime, but fire departments around the country always make it a priority every October.
There’s even a National Fire Prevention Week during this month, so what better time to review simple, yet effective, fire prevention measures courtesy of the Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department.
One such measure is having fire detectors that work properly, said Bob Heckman, firefighter.
And for those who burn fossil fuels, having a carbon monoxide detector in addition is a good idea, he said.
“If you cannot remember the last time you had your chimney cleaned, now is the time to do it,” Heckman said.
Should a fire ever break out in the home, families must stay outside once they get out, he said. What’s more, they should meet at a pre-selected meeting place.
Heckman also recommended removing dry, dead grass that could easily ignite away from structures.
“Watch where you park your vehicles, especially while out hunting because tall grass will ignite very easy,” he said. “And remember, if you burn trash try not to burn on windy days. If your trash fire gets away from you, call 911 right away to report it because the fire will spread very fast.”
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According to Heckman, Fire Prevention Week began in response to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed more than 250 people and left more than 100,000 homeless. It destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.
At the Oct. 4 City Council meeting, Mayor Paul Lambert praised the local firefighters for informing the public about the importance of fire prevention.
“You guys do an excellent job in promoting that,” he said. “Every citizen in Plattsmouth appreciates the efforts in everything you do.”
That effort also includes frequent training in putting out fires. That was the case this past Sunday as the local firefighters, along with other departments, conducted a live house burn along U.S. Highway 75.
There were 20 firefighters and three departments, Plattsmouth, Murray and Nehawka, involved in the training, Plattsmouth Fire Chief Mike Wilson said.
“The training went well,” he said.