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Newton Fire Department Gives Us Fire Safety Tips Straight From the Professionals

There is little as terrifying and horrific as losing everything in a house fire. Fires are dangerous, but all too common, and can leave a wake of devastation behind when they strike. While some things cannot be helped, such as lightening, wildfires, and weather?there are some tactics you can use to help reduce the chance of fire in your home.

We sat down with the Newton Fire Department to learn more about these life-saving, preventative methods.

"There are several things we recommend homeowners do to mitigate their fire risk at home," states Eric Fricke of the Newton Fire Department. "Some are common sense." These include not leaving candles, stoves, or irons unattended; performing regular maintenance on chimneys and heating systems. He mentioned it was vital to keep items like your barbecue grill, at minimum, three feet from your house and always using licensed contractors to do any electrical work on your home.

"I can't also stress enough the importance of good working smoke and CO detectors in your home," he tells us. "It's not only the law, it's also the best way to stay safe and get notified of a fire or CO emergency in your home."

It's not just homeowners that need to be diligent in fire prevention safety, though. According to Fricke, there are just as many incidents in the workplace as there are in the home and proper maintenance and safety is just as fundamental. We asked what employers could do to practice proper safety in the workplace, and these are the tips he gave us.

"Know your nearest exit, it may not be the door you use on a daily basis," he details. "Have an evacuation plan, and practice it. Most adults think fire drills are something they outgrow after elementary school, but it's a good practice for any commercial building tenant to regularly drill on evacuation procedures." He continues, adding, "Have a defined smoking area with a receptacle for proper cigarette disposal, most mulch and brush fires are started by improper disposal of smoking materials."

The Newton Fire Department has been hard at work practicing and teaching adequate fire safety procedures throughout the community, despite the challenges faced by the increasing construction in the area. "We are always challenged by the amount of construction going on in Newton, from residential additions all the way up to new commercial construction," Fricke says. "It's a delicate balance of our need to inspect the job sites and make sure the codes are being implemented and applied correctly and the contractor's timelines."

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