Story and Photos by Kevin S. Abel
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
EUCOM Consolidated Exchange hosted their annual Safety Open House in conjunction with the USAG Stuttgart Fire Department and local volunteer fire departments of Böblingen and Leonberg to teach fire safety to the USAG Stuttgart community.
Fire Safety Day was filled with several events that included static displays of fire trucks, Panther Air Field Crash Rescue Truck and a Polizei Cruiser. Community members were also allowed to take a ride up to the full height of the ladder truck giving them a bird’s eye view of Panzer Kaserne.
Handouts with expert advice for adults and children were available throughout the day that described fire safety tips including:
• Ensure that everyone in the house knows how to call the fire department on and off post.
• Have an emergency plan and an escape plan and most importantly, practice the plan so you know exactly what to do.
• Check the fire extinguishers at least once a month.
• Change smoke detectors’ batteries every six months and change smoke detectors every 10 years.
• Maintain appliances properly and make sure the lint traps in the dryers are being emptied.
• Keep everything in order and clear out clutter because it is just more things to burn.
• Maintain a safe distance around space heaters and turn them off when not in use.
Demonstrations throughout the day included fire extinguisher training and demonstrations, simulated car accident with extraction, car rescue/ fire demonstration and an apartment fire demonstration that showed how fast
fire can spread. “By doing these demonstrations we will to raise fire safety awareness by showing what can happen and how to protect yourself,” said Karl Doersam, USAG Stuttgart Fire Chief.
Residential fires can spread very quickly. In a typical home, an entire room can be consumed by fire from one small spark in less than five minutes. With help from the Leonberg Volunteer Fire Department, the USAG Stuttgart Fire Department demonstrated this by starting a fire on a typical residential couch to show the attendees the speed in which fire spreads.
“You have to be prepared, have a plan and practice that plan. Make sure all your smoke detectors work, and most important know how to call for help,” Doersam concluded.