‘Fire Prevention Month’ observed in Yukon

Restrooms urged to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, have home fire escape plans

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Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt encourages residents to make sure they have operating smoke alarms and a fire escape plan for their homes. Vogt spoke at the Oct. 5th Yukon City Council meeting after accepting a proclamation for “Fire Prevention Month” in October. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

An annual month-long fire safety effort is being observed across Yukon – but it won’t include school visits this time.

October has been officially proclaimed “Fire Prevention Month” in the City of Yukon. Yukon residents are being encouraged to install smoke alarms in every bedroom and have fire escape plans as part of this observance.

Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt accepted the 2021 Fire Prevention Month proclamation during the Oct. 5th city council meeting.

“Getting out in the community to talk about fire safety and fire prevention is a big part of what we do at the fire department,” Vogt said. “Our guys really take great pride in that, to get out in the public and teach people about fire safety and fire prevention.”

Having a home escape plan is very important, Yukon’s fire chief explained.

“It’s like a fire drill at school,” he said. “You need to have a plan on how you’re going to get out of your house safely if it catches on fire, and then to practice that plan.

“Once people get outside, they need to have a meeting place. It can be somewhere in the front yard, like a mailbox or a tree. That’s so important because when we get on scene, the first thing we’re going to do is ask the homeowner, ‘Is everybody out safely’?”

The YFD wants to see that all Yukon residents have working smoke detectors, to test them monthly and change the batteries twice a year.

During Fire Prevention Month, YFD personnel reach students across Yukon with their message.

“This year, we’re going to hand out about 1,200 fire safety and prevention packets and ‘goodie’ bags to kids,” Chief Vogt said. “Normally, we’d go to all the classes and meet with them in person.

“Due to COVID restrictions and some school policies, we’re not going to be able to do that this year. Hopefully, they can take that information home and visit with their parents about it.”

Yukon city officials recognize that fire is a “great concern,” according to the Fire Prevention Month proclamation signed by Mayor Shelli Selby:

  • Homes are where people are at the greatest risk of fire;
  • Half of all home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep; and
  • Residents should install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home.
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NEW FIRE COMMAND VEHICLE

The Yukon Fire Department is getting a new fire command vehicle.

The city council has approved buying a 2021 Chevrolet Suburban from Carter Chevrolet for $44,767. This will replace the existing fire command unit, which will be used as a training/staff vehicle.

YFD has received a discount on the Suburban from Carter Chevrolet.

“Another fire department had actually ordered it, then they backed out (of buying the SUV),” Chief Vogt said. “It’s saving us about $11,000.”

DEMOLITION PLANNED

The Yukon City Council has declared property at 224 N 3rd a public nuisance and has given the owner 60 days to demolish and remove the structure.

“The walls have failed, and the roof has failed,” Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort said.

Nobody is in living in the structure, which is being used for storage.

The property owner told council members Oct. 5 he had contacted a demolition company, who will be able to start “within a month.”