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Fire department offers residents advice before the summer season

Published 4:07pm Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Since the weather in Alabama has been anything but normal lately with a large number of tornados and high temperatures, the Madison City Fire Department is hoping they can offer some tips on how to stay safe this season.

Storm shelters are high in demand right now since the deadly tornados in April. The Madison City Fire Department is requesting that any resident or business with a storm shelter, basement, or safe room to register it online through their website.

By completing the registration, search and rescue will be aware that they need to look in the designated storm shelter for survivors. The short registration will ask how many people it can fit inside the shelter so the team can make sure that all people are accounted for.

The process is completely confidential and will only be used for disaster purposes.

This season is also known for grass and outdoor fires because of the heat and periods of time without rain.

Emergency Operations and Safety Manager David Glassman said that there are not a lot of outdoor fires that occur in Madison, but he advised residents to be aware of the statewide burn ban and be aware of what can start fires.

Glassman said that vehicle’s catalytic converters and cigarettes that are thrown out can start fires on dry grass. He continued to say that any embers that get loose from other fires can also ignite flames on grass.

“Be cautious, residents know its dry outside,” Glassman said.

Fire Marshall Cary Sadler said that all previously handed out burn permits are suspended until further notice because of the burn ban.

If a resident is caught starting a fire, they will be issued a citation and will be held accountable for the damage that they caused.

“The best way to prevent outside fires from starting is to watch where you are disposing cigarette butts, watch where you dispose your ashes from outdoor cooking, do not have any type of fire outside while we are under the burn ban and drought,” Sadler said. “Our humidity levels are so high here that it’s really not a problem until we get under drought conditions like we are now.”

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