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Home fire deaths increase during holiday season

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By DOUGLAS BANKSTON

Every season has its own inherent seasonal fire risk as we can see from the dry windy conditions that fueled the largest fire in Tennessee in more than 100 years. Our hearts go out to those who have lost so much.

Can you believe it’s December already. We are now deep into the holiday season and 2016 is almost over. Thanksgiving and Black Friday are in the books. We all ate and spent too much. Now it’s time to start decorating, setting up trees and hanging lights. Some people decorate early and only take them down because the tree is brown and the branches have fallen off. It’s a fact that the majority of home fires and home fire deaths occur at this time of year. Causes range from unattended cooking, which is the national No. 1 cause of home fires to space heaters and over loaded circuits.

Fort Knox and most active military installations are unique in that we’re a small community and the fire department and residents are obligated to provide and seek fire safety awareness. Fort Knox has not had a serious structural fire or loss of life in many years, due in large part to our joint obligation. This time of year everyone is talking safety, telling you to be safe and you saying the same. Because we care, the health and safety of our Soldiers, friends and Family members tops our wish list in this the most dangerous season of the year.

The U.S. Fire Administration reported that 1,926 civilian home fire fatalities were reported by U.S. news media from Jan. 1 through Dec. 1. Kentucky news media reported 53 civilian home fire fatalities.

The Fort Knox Fire Department is committed to the protection of lives and property. This is extremely important during the holiday season. We ask that all Soldiers, civilians, retirees and Family members do their part to make this a truly joyous occasion. Inspect all electrical equipment prior to use. If wires are damaged, do not use them. Never overload circuits, turn off all decorative lights before you go to bed. Keep candles away from drapes, trees and decorations. Extinguish all candles when leaving the room, no matter the reason. Make sure your Christmas tree is fresh. Dry trees burn easily. If using an artificial tree, please make sure it is flame retardant.

Mission first, people always! Keep Fort Knox fire safe.

If you have any questions or
would like to schedule a courtesy inspection of your work area or quarters, contact the Fort Knox Fire Prevention Office at (502) 624-4208/6632 or by email at usarmy.knox.imcom-atlantic.list.des-fire-prevention@mail.mil. n