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NEWS | July 15, 2021

Education is Prevention: Summer Fire Safety

By Senior Airman Zoie Cox 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Every summer, children and adults alike look forward to spending time with friends and family. While summer can be a season packed with fun and exciting activities, it is important to remember that it also presents the increased potential for fire hazards.  

“Negligence is the primary cause of fire with adults, and curiosity is what drives fire-related incidents with adolescents,” said Keith D. Boyd, 733rd Mission Support Group assistant chief of fire prevention and public education. “Informing all ages about fire safety is extremely important because fire doesn’t recognize age.”

Joint Base Langley-Eustis emergency services strive to educate the populace by participating in various activities, such as delivering safety messages in the base housing newsletter and attending unit safety briefings. Fire safety education is the number one way to avoid fires and mitigate any fire-related emergencies.

“(From elementary age down to pre-school), children tend to produce the behavior in their environments,” Boyd said. “For these reasons, we provide fire safety briefings, training and campaigns to mitigate fire-related incidents at every age level.”

During non-COVID restrictions, the Fire Prevention Office typically conducts monthly fire evacuation drills for JBLE Youth Centers and Child Development Programs. The drills are both monthly and random, enforcing the importance of knowing the “escape plan.”

“During these evacuation drills, the fire inspectors discuss observed highlights and areas for improvement with the staff,” said Ronald Nowlin, 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron assistant chief for fire prevention. “From there, we take those opportunities to speak directly with the children, re-enforcing the importance and asking them to go home and teach their family.”

Regardless of the activities you plan to participate in, safety should always be the number one priority. Encouraging summer fire safety within your community can significantly mitigate risks during summer activities.

Following the provided safety tips below can help everyone have a safe summer:

Summertime Fire Safety

  • Don’t drink & barbeque: It is essential to remain attentive to the task at hand during cooking.
  • Clean the grill: Ensure that your grill is free of any leftover food particles and debris. Anything left on the grill from previous cookouts could catch on fire and become a serious hazard.   
  • Don’t wear loose clothing around open flames: Clothing, in most cases, is highly combustible.
  • Never leave the cooking area unattended: unattended cooking is one of the top causes of fire in homes.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions when preparing a charcoal grill: Too much coal and/or lighter fluid could end in devastation.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

Anytime Fire Safety

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home.
  • Test the smoke detectors at least once a month and change their batteries every six months.
  • Always have an escape plan for you and your family in case of a fire.
  • Get Out, Stay Out, Call 911.
  • If your clothing was to catch on fire, STOP, DROP, ROLL!

For more information and tips on fire safety, visit or stop by the local Fire Department for brochures and handouts to further enhance fire safety knowledge!