GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Have you ever thought about what to do in the event of a fire? Flames can engulf rooms, block entryways and bring homes to disrepair in a matter of minutes. Do you know at least two ways out?


Fire departments across the U.S. join their efforts every year to host National Fire Prevention Week. This year, the campaign runs Oct. 8 – 14, 2017.


The U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Fire Departments on Tower and Rose Barracks teamed up to host several events on our installations. From open houses and various fire and rescue training to school visits and static displays, fire department staff hope to help drive awareness about fire prevention and generate community readiness for any and all fire-related incidents — especially those that occur at home, said USAG Bavaria Fire Chief Josef Rodler.


According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, fires can fill an entire home in just a few minutes and reach temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. But it’s not the flaming heat that poses the greatest threat to safety. It’s the black smoke and poisonous gases that lead the nation’s causes of fire-related deaths.


Before we dive into daily fire prevention tips and what to do in the event a fire breaks out in your office or home, it’s important to have a game plan: where are your fire exists and what is the best fire escape route? Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher? Does your smoke detector work?


These are all important considerations. And there’s never been a better time than now to step up your fire prevention plan. Attend this week’s Fire Department Open Houses, attend training on how to use a fire extinguisher, request an in-office rundown of fire safety or come out to the equipment displays to meet one-on-one with fire safety staff.


How to prevent home fires


Practicing basic prevention measures will greatly reduce the risk of fires at home. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides a few tips:


  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.


  • Position grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.


  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.


  • Store matches and lighters out of children’s reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.


  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time. Consider creating a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove or cooking areas.


  • Smoke outside, and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.


  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture. Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.


  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.


  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.


What to do if a fire breaks out


If it’s safe to do so, call the on-post Fire Department immediately. The DSN line for Tower and Rose Barracks, Hohenfels and Garmisch is 112. Call CIV 09641-83-112 for Tower Barracks, CIV 09662-83-112 for Rose Barracks, 09742-83-2858 for Hohenfels, and CIV 08821-750-112 for Garmisch.


  • To escape the flames and heat, crawl low — staying under any smoke — to your exit. Heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.


  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out. If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.


  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the vicinity and call the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.


  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.


  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call the fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.


  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll. Stop immediately, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out. If you or someone else cannot stop, drop and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help right away by calling the fire department or an ambulance.


National Fire Prevention Week Events:


Fire Department Open House


  • Tue, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Tower Barracks Fire Station, Bldg. 521


  • Tue, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Rose Barracks Fire Station, Bldg. 201


  • Wed, Oct. 11 & 12 from 1 – 3:30 p.m.
    Rose Barracks Fire Station, Bldg. 201


  • Thu, Oct. 12 from 1 – 3:30 p.m.
    Rose Barracks Fire Station, Bldg. 201


Fire Drills


  • Rose Barracks: Oct. 10 & 11 from 1 – 3:30 p.m.


  • Tower Barracks: Oct. 10 from 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Fire Equipment Display at Exchange


  • Fri, Oct. 13 from 9 – 11:30 a.m.
    Rose Barracks Exchange


  • Fri, Oct. 13 from 9 – 11:30 a.m.
    Tower Barracks Exchange


Fire Distinguisher Training



  • Tue, Oct. 10 & 11 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    Tower Barracks Fire Station, Bldg. 521


Fire Prevention Inspections


  • Tower Barracks: Oct. 12 from 9 – 11:30 a.m.

Fire Department Office Visits


  • Tower Barracks: Oct. 12 from noon – 3 p.m.


Questions, or want to get involved? Contact the USAG Bavaria Military Fire Department at DSN 475-8972, CIV 09641-83-8972 for Tower Barracks; DSN 466-2858, CIV 09472-83-2858 for Hohenfels; and DSN 440-3102, CIV 08821-750-3102 for Garmisch.


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