Most of Tennessee turned a watchful eye to Sevier County and Great Smoky Mountains National Park as news of wildfire devastating the area sparked a massive relief and containment operation According to a news report from CBS-affiliate WYMT, the Hatcher Mountain and Millstone Gap wildfires combined damaged approximately 220 structures and consumed roughly 3,500 acres.
While wildfires are not as big of a worry for those in Middle Tennessee, fire safety should still be cause for concern. According to statistics posted by The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Tennessee ranks 11th in the nation for fire fatalities, and as of March 25, 2022, the state has reported 37 accidental or undetermined fire fatalities.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, nine out of ten wildfires are started by humans. As the weather gets warmer, many families are making vacation plans and envisioning outdoor adventures, whether in their own backyards or in one of the 12 national or 56 state parks in The Volunteer State. Regardless of the location, it’s important to make plans for safety as well as fun, and there are many common sense tips for making outdoor excursions fire-free:
Be cognizant of weather conditions. Avoid building fires of any kind in times of drought or high winds.
Build campfires in the proper setting. Choose a foundation of only soil and minerals for building your fire. Surround the firewood with clean rocks or boulders. Make sure the area you choose for your fire pit is clear of anything flammable in nature.
Never leave your fire unattended. Always keep a close eye on your bonfire or campfire.
Always keep materials for extinguishing fires close by. Keep a fire extinguisher, a bucket, water, and a shovel within reach at all times.
Make sure your fire is completely out before leaving the area. When extinguishing a fire, don’t trust appearances. It’s easy to think because you poured water on it or don’t see smoke anymore that the fire is out. Pour water on the fire and stir the ashes multiple times. Then check to make sure the area is completely cold and not emanating any heat whatsoever before going on your way.
Take note of where you park your vehicle. Do not park your vehicle anywhere near dry grass or brush, as the heat from your exhaust can easily ignite dry plant material.
We can’t always anticipate the dangers and pitfalls that lay ahead, whether we’re at home or camping in the great outdoors. However, we can plan to the best of our ability with insurance coverage that protects us from the unexpected. Johnston & Associates is an independent insurance agency with over a quarter of a century experience, helping families in Brentwood, Fairview, Franklin, Nashville, Spring Hill, and the rest of Middle Tennessee find affordable coverage to meet their needs and budget. Contact them today for dependable insurance protection that won’t leave your peace of mind up in smoke.