How to prevent structure fires, create a fire safety plan

Outdoor fires can lead to structure fires if not properly contained.
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 11:22 AM EDT
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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - According to the Michigan fire marshal, from January to June, 75 people died in residential fires.

The Marquette County Fire Department says smoking is the leading cause of housefires.

“The last statistic on it was 63 percent was caused by smoking and I think nine percent was electrical,” said Pete Windsor, the relief engineer for the Marquette City Fire Department.

Nobody plans to have a house fire, but it’s important to have a plan for your family in case there is a fire.

“You want to have two ways out just in case. If the first way is blocked, you always have a second way out. Especially with younger kids, have a common meeting place that they know about,” said Windsor.

The Escanaba Public Safety Department says right now, outdoor fires are their biggest concern.

“If you’re using an above-the-ground metal fire pit, it needs to have a spark arrest on top of it to prevent embers from landing on any structures or flammable materials,” said Lt. Eric LaFave at Escanaba Public Safety Department.

If you plan on having a bigger fire, the distance from structures increases.

Fires in the city must be attended at all times and means of putting the fire out should be accessible.

“We strongly suggest that you have a suppression source on hand. Whether it be a garden hose and pails of water if you have sand in the area,” said Lt. LaFave.

These rules are in place to keep fun, backyard fires from turning into grass or structure fires.

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