CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
The Camp Pendleton Fire department has provided tips to increase awareness and help prevent fires on the base and in residential areas in lieu of Fire Prevention Month.
According to John Crook, the fire department division chief here, training areas are at the highest risk for fires. However, areas of the base with overgrown vegetation where fires have not burned through in several years are also at risk especially during dry spells of weather.
More than 100 wildfires have occurred on base from the beginning of the year to Sept. 30. The ‘Basilone Complex’ fire in May, composed of the Tomahawk, Pulgas and Combat Fires, in addition to smaller incidents, burned 24,062 acres of land, which is twice the acreage burned from last year. That is the equivalent to the combined area of 18,201 football fields.
“Anyone affected by the May 2014 fire can attest to some of the hardships of being ordered to evacuate and not having the comforts of your home or place of work,” said Crook. “The simplest way to prevent fires is to be fire-smart as the weather gets drier. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discarding any combustible or burning products, such as charcoal and cigarettes in areas or containers not designed for hot smoldering products.”
The Safety Center here has provided some useful fire prevention tips to keep in mind for base personnel, patrons and residents:
•Have properly working smoke alarms
•Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year
•Place smoke alarms on each floor of your home and in each bedroom
•Plan a family escape route and practice it once a month
•Place fire extinguishers throughout your home and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them
•Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
•To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side
For fire suppression, emergency medical response, rescue, hazardous materials response and fire prevention services please contact the Camp Pendleton Fire Department at 760-725-4321.