HomeNewsFeaturesDisplay

104th Firefighters emphasize the importance of fire safety

Firefighters from the 104 FW participate in fire prevention week on October 8, 2019. Staff Sgt. Sam Schrader a 104th firefighter,checks a smoke detector. According to the U.S. fire administration smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Basic Camille Lienau)

Firefighters from the 104 FW participate in fire prevention week on October 8, 2019. Staff Sgt. Sam Schrader a 104th firefighter,checks a smoke detector. According to the U.S. fire administration smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Basic Camille Lienau)

Firefighters from the 104 FW participate in fire prevention week on October 8, 2019. Staff Sgt. Sam Schrader, 104th firefighter puts on his gear. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Basic Camille Lienau)

Firefighters from the 104 FW participate in fire prevention week on October 8, 2019. Staff Sgt. Sam Schrader, 104th firefighter puts on his gear. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Basic Camille Lienau)

BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts --

The National Fire Protection Association puts out a message each year to promote fire safety education with the message this year being, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape.” Everyone should create a fire escape plan and practice those plans at home. 



Fires can spread fast, leaving as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke detector sounds. Lieutenant Travis Witbeck, a 104th firefighter advocates for being proactive and taking time to walk through your home and inspect all possible escape routes. 

“The 104th Fighter Wing Fire Department encourages all members of the wing to embrace this year’s message,” said Witbeck. “The success of our mission here at the Barnes Air National Guard Base revolves around our people and their ability to do their jobs. A fire at home takes a drastic toll on anyone who is involved with a home fire, whether it leads to injuries or not. This inevitably results negatively on their ability to conduct their business here at the wing. Thus, we embrace the challenge of providing any possible ways members can avoid these tragic events at home.”

As important as it is to plan ahead for emergencies at home, 104 FW members should also take time to familiarize themselves with the fire escape plans of the buildings they are working in.

“We embrace fire prevention throughout the year by conducting routine inspections of all facilities to ensure they are compliant with current fire safety standards and address any hazards we find,” said Witbeck. “One of the things that we are always checking for is that base personnel are familiar with the fire escape plans of the buildings they are working in and that they are practiced annually. These plans are required to be posted on message boards of each building on base.”

Fire safety is something that we should promote each day. Small things such as testing your smoke detectors once a month and replacing its batteries annually or ensuring that you have up to date fire extinguishers can prevent against tragedies.