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Joint base dormitory fire safety

Posted 5/26/2011   Updated 5/26/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Ronald Simpkins
87th Civil Engineer Squadron

5/26/2011 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The National Fire Protection Association reported 3,570 fires occurred in dormitories between 2003 and 2006, resulting in $29.4 million dollars in property damage. Most dormitory fires were a result of unattended cooking equipment, open flames, overloaded outlets and misused heating appliances.

The following fire prevention safety tips will help ensure the safety of all dormitory residents on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
- Keep your room clean and free of excessive trash.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. Use surge protectors instead of extension cords.
- Do not smoke when tired or impaired. Extinguish all smoking materials thoroughly and place in appropriate containers, not trash cans or trash bags.
- Candles, incense or open flame devices, which produce a constant flame, are prohibited in the dormitories.
- Never cover light bulbs with paper or clothing.
- Cooking utensils or appliances, other than coffee makers and microwave ovens, are prohibited in dormitory rooms.

Protection and planning tips:
- Take fire alarms seriously. When the alarm goes off, do not ignore it, Get out.
Tampering with smoke alarms / extinguishers, pulling false alarms or misusing fire protection equipment may be a criminal offense. These are dangerous pranks and should be reported immediately.
- Have an escape plan: know all possible exits from residence.
- Dial 9-1-1 as soon as you have exited the facility.
In the event of fire in your room or on your floor:
- Feel the door handle. If it's hot, don't open it. Go to a window and call for help.
- If the handle is not hot, open cautiously checking for smoke or flames in the hallway.
- Close the door behind you. This helps to slow the spread of the fire.
- Pull the fire alarm on your way out and alert occupants by yelling "Fire! Fire! Fire!"
- Thick smoke can make it impossible to see, so crawl low to the floor.
- Leave the building and do not reenter until fire department personnel declare the area fire safe.
- Dial 9-1-1 to report the emergency.

Contact the 87th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Prevention section Tech Sgt. Todd Rains or Staff Sgt. Ron Simpkins at 754-4656 for questions or concerns.

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