In an area prone to earthquakes, volcano eruptions, wild fire, floods, and tsunamis it makes sense to take responsibility for preventing and being prepared for events that can cause disaster. That was what motivated the staff and management at Home Depot in Kenai to host this year's Kenai Safety Day last week. "Safety is everyone's responsibility and as part of this community we wanted to step up to the plate to host this event where we could all get together, learn from each other, and share the responsibility of being prepared and practicing safety in our homes as well as our place of work," said Home Depot assistant manager Mark Pierson. Pierson brought a wide array of safety experts, agencies, equipment, and responders from across the Central Peninsula to his store.
Kenai Fire Department fire marshal Eric Wilcox, Brian Crisp of the Nikiski Fire Department, KPD officer Levi Russell, Dispatcher Stacey Day, Sharon Roesch AK Forestry, volunteers from the Borough emergency planning team, Jane Fellman from Kenai Peninsula Safe Kids, and many others were on hand for personal one on one conversations and informational materials for all who came by. "Many people came by with questions about their CO2 and smoke detectors, chimney brushes, heating equipment, clothes dryers, and fire extinguishers. We've had a lot of fires recently that have been started simply because of lint build up in clothes dryers. We were happy to be here and participate with all the other agencies who understand the value of safety and prevention," said fire marshal Wilcox.
Sharon Roesch, Fire prevention officer with Alaska Division of Forestry teamed up with Smokey the Bear at Kenai Safety Day to remind residents that fall is the best time to prevent forest fires, "You may think of fire prevention for forest fires being in the spring, but fall is the time to do Fire Wise major fuel reduction projects around your property. Any burning that needs to be done should be done now while the danger of wild land fire danger is low instead of in the spring when people like to do their yard clean up but fire danger is high. Structure prep is also best in the fall like repairing skirting and enclosing eves, which also help save heat in the winter and keep embers out during fire season next spring which comes very fast as soon as the snow is gone and doesn't give you much time to do the structure prep that is needed," advised Roesch.
If you were unable to attend Kenai Safety Day and have questions about preparing your home and family for the coming winter season Fire marshal Wilcox said you may always call the Kenai Fire Department and any local fire department, "We're always happy to answer any of your questions," he said.