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Base residents urged to assist in fire prevention

More than100 acres burned from unintentional fires on Camp Pendleton in 2009, forcing many families to be uprooted from their homes. This year, base residents are urged to take preventative measures to guard their families and homes during the fire season.

“It is fire season year-round on base,” said Bill P. Gick, fire inspector, Camp Pendleton Fire and Emergency Services. “During the summer the chance of fires happening is nearly three times as likely.”

The high risks inspired the base’s fire department to produce a list of ways to better prepare a home in the event of a fire.

Keep yards clean: make sure trash stays in the can and keep dry shrubbery in a separate trash container.

Barbeques: after a barbeque, ensure water is poured on the briquettes to guarantee the burning ceases.

Fire extinguishers: the department recommends that, at a minimum, one fire extinguisher is kept on each floor, and one in the garage. Although a fire extinguisher may not put out a fire, it can be used to create a path of safety.

Smoke detectors: one of the easiest things to forget is to replace the batteries in the smoke detectors. It is recommended to test each detector monthly.

Also, never leave matches, lighters, stoves or candles unattended around young children.

“The most important thing I can tell the troops on base is to always have an escape plan for you and your family,” said David D. Dietz, fire prevention inspector, Camp Pendleton Fire and Emergency Services. “Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them until they’re sitting in front of their burning house.”

For additional information, visit the Camp Pendleton website at http://www.pendleton.usmc.mil/information/fireinformation.asp, or call (760) 725-9045 or (866) 430-2764.

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