FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — (March 20, 2023) Spring is near, and soon it will be time to put away the snow shovels and prepare for spring activities, such as barbecuing, outdoor sporting events, yard work and everyone’s favorite — spring cleaning.

While clearing out the unwanted items, it is a good time to check for unsafe conditions in your home, and to ensure your family is safe from potential fire hazards.

Below are some fire safety tips to perform alongside annual spring cleaning:

  • Check for and correct frayed or damaged extension cords and wiring on all appliances.
  • Vacuum and clean behind large furniture and appliances.
  • Lightly run a vacuum over smoke detectors and change the batteries to ensure proper operation in the event of an emergency.
  • Thoroughly inspect grills before use, and when using a grill, place it at least 15 feet from buildings and overhangs. Store charcoal in a dry, cool location.
  • Recycle old, unwanted newspapers, magazines and mail. These items tend to pile up and can greatly contribute to the severity and spread of fire.
  • Remove leaves and trash from carports and garages. Combustible materials are dangerous if they are exposed to heated automobile components, especially under a vehicle.
  • Make sure gasoline and home chemicals are well marked and out of the reach of children and pets. Flammable chemicals should be stored in a cool, dry place outside the house or work area.
  • Sit down with your family or co-workers and discuss what to do in the event of a fire and identify meeting places.

Kitchens are an important area to focus on when doing spring cleaning — unattended cooking fires are still the most common cause of residential fires across the United States. Below are some tips:

  • Clean the oven, as oven fires occur when oil or grease deposits are overheated and ignite.
  • Clean the cooking surface of your stove, as grease and food crumbs can quickly ignite.
  • Keep combustible items, such as oven mitts, towels, wooden utensils and paper towels, off the top of the stove.
  • Plug cooking appliances directly into wall outlets — do not use extension cords or surge protectors with cooking appliances.
  • Keep a minimum 3-foot safety area for children and pets around the stove or areas where hot food is prepared or served.
  • Do no leave the kitchen when anything is frying, boiling or cooking on the stove top. Even if you leave the kitchen for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • When baking, roasting or boiling something in the oven, check it regularly and remain in the home. Use a timer to remind you to check the oven while cooking.

Call the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Prevention Office at 573.596.0886 with any questions on fire safety in the home.

Spring cleaning is a good time to check for unsafe conditions in your home, and to ensure your family is safe from potential fire hazards. (U.S. Army photo)










About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: