Letter: Let's focus on fire prevention before fire suppression


I know that we are on one side of the country and California is on the other side. It seems that about this time every year, we see the same results from large forest fires. More lives are lost, and citizens and firefighters are facing what seems to be impossible odds.

I have been involved in fire prevention and fire suppression most of my life. If I may, I would like to give some possible solutions to this problem.

1. Review all fire codes.

2. Locate more fire substations in heavy housing areas.

3. Increase the number of fire hydrants.

4. Increase water volume and pressure.

5. New homes should be built with 150 feet of clearance from wooded areas.

6. These areas should have fire codes that prevent highly combustible and large trees within the 150-foot area.

7. Sprinkler systems should be mandatory for the 150-foot area, which would be activated by heat sensors.

8. Roof sprinkler systems, much like building sprinkler systems (water horizontal distribution lines), would be activated upon heat of approximately 135 degrees.

9. Large fans on all four sides of homes to be activated by heat sensors.

10. Fire pump stations would be added or installed to increase volume of water and pressure to prevent large fires.

Fire prevention before fire suppression has always been the goal in the fire service.


Retired assistant chief of Sumter Fire Department