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National Fire Prevention Week Blazes Through Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Members of the 30th Comptroller Squadron throw buckets of water onto a roof during the bucket brigade portion of the Fire Muster competition here Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. The Fire Muster Competition marks the end of Fire Prevention Week and is a friendly competition of five-member teams racing to complete a series of feats simulating the rigorous training required of base firefighters. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Members of the 30th Comptroller Squadron throw buckets of water onto a roof during the bucket brigade portion of the Fire Muster competition here Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. The Fire Muster Competition marks the end of Fire Prevention Week and is a friendly competition of teams racing to complete a series of feats simulating the rigorous training required of base firefighters. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Vandenberg Fire Department will recognize National Fire Prevention Week, here, Oct. 6 through 10.

This year's theme is "Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives; Test Yours Every Month".

"National Fire Prevention Week is a way to spread the word on fire safety," said Scott Balatgek, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector. "This year's theme is especially important because every year countless lives are lost because people either don't have smoke detectors or they don't check them to ensure they work."

Making VAFB personnel aware of fire prevention is a top priority during the week.

"Fire Prevention Week allows the fire department to dedicate time to bring our fire safety message to a wider audience," said Jason Haddock, 30th CES fire inspector. "Typically, we visit the Child Development Center and Youth Center on a regular basis. This week allows us to get out and spread our message to all members of Team Vandenberg."

Due to California's susceptibility to intense droughts and wildfires, members of Team-V are reminded to stay safe and practice fire prevention at all times.

"Keep lighters and matches away from kids," said Balatgek. "Don't overload electrical outlets. Don't plug appliances such as coffee pots, heaters and microwaves into power strips and only use extension cords as a temporary solution."

The week's events include:

Oct. 6 -- Firefighters hand out fire safety materials at the Pacific Coast Club and Base Exchange.

Oct. 7 -- Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog walk through key facilities on base.

Oct. 8 -- Smokey and Sparky visit the Child Development Center.

Oct. 9 -- A fire safety assembly at Manzanita School, Youth Center visit and a parade through base housing.

Oct. 10 -- Fire muster at the parade grounds. During the muster, teams will compete in fire and rescue-based events.

Courtesy fire safety visits in base housing are being held Oct. 6 through 9. To schedule a fire safety visit in your base house, call 805-606-4680.