MEDIA CONTACT INFORMATION
Kevin Doel
Public Information Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216
785-296-3403
kevin.doel@ks.gov


Fire Safety is good for our planet

Kevin Doel | Apr 21, 2016

2016 marks the 46th year of celebrating Earth Day, a day dedicated to focusing human energy toward environmental issues. The Office of the Kansas Fire Marshal, which is focused every day of the year on protecting the land of Kansas and its citizens from catastrophic fires and hazardous chemical spills, offers actionable tips that Kansans can take to be both good stewards of our planet’s resources while also being fire safe.

“Every Kansan has a role in preserving our state as both a beautiful and healthy place to live,” said Doug Jorgensen, Kansas Fire Marshal. “We always encourage our citizens to take steps to protect their loved ones and property from fire and chemical hazards. On Earth Day, whether you have just a few minutes to spare or the entire day, everyone has time to do something which can have a positive impact on our planet while also improving their own safety from fire and chemical hazards.”

Following are activities that Kansans can take that are good for the environment and improve fire safety:

  • Switch to LED light bulbs. These light bulbs contain no mercury, and they operate cooler than a traditional light bulb or even a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) resulting in less fire risk.
  • Take advantage of Hazard Drop Offs available on Earth Day. Get rid of old paint, cleaning chemicals, solvents, stains, etc. Not having these highly flammable chemicals on shelves will greatly reduce fire risk as well as the possibility of them contaminating ground soil.
  • Start a compost pile of paper, leaves, etc., rather than having a burn pile which could result in floating embers starting fires elsewhere.
  • Do a home energy audit, which could identify areas of fire risk. Get your HVAC system checked out by a licensed professional and be sure to replace filters monthly.
  • Clean out your dryer lint trap and filter, which will make your dryer operate more efficiently and reduce fire danger.

Much of Kansas was recently involved in battling wildfires, and these out-of-control grass fires destroy property, increase the release of carbon dioxide into the air, destroy habitats, and take up a lot of natural resources, including water, which could lead to periods of needed water preservation in the area. All Kansans should take measures to be sure they are protecting themselves and their neighbors from wildfires.

Most wildfires are completely preventable. The largest amount of fires started by “controlled” or planned fires which either rekindled or spread out of control. These fires could have started out as simple backyard fire pits for entertaining or burning a pile of dead leaves and limbs after cleaning up a yard. Floating embers can quickly spread to dry, overgrown vegetation and shifting winds can push heat and flames where people never meant for them to go.

Homeowners can take a few simple steps, such as weeding around their property, keeping grass mowed to shorter than 4 inches, and removing leaf litter around buildings and propane tanks, to protect themselves from not only spreading wildfires but creating structure fires as well.

On this Earth Day, every Kansan should find some time to do something which not only protects our environment, but keeps themselves and their loved ones safer from fire.

Use LED bulbs Start a compost pile
Perform a home energy audit Get rid of old paints and chemicals