Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Fire highlights safety needs

A fire Thursday afternoon caused thousands of dollars in
damage to the Brighton Square apartment complex and caused three cats to be
rushed to the Emergency Veterinarian Hospital.

Although damages amounted to $25,000, the Madison Fire
Department reported that there were no injuries. After fire crews appeared on
the scene, responding to a call from a resident at 2:21 p.m., the fire was
extinguished within 14 minutes, according to an MFD release. The cause of the
fire is currently under investigation.

With the holidays just around the corner, the MFD recently
released reminders to students and residents of Madison about how to remain
safe from fire and ice this holiday season.

Thanksgiving and the ensuing holiday season is the most
dangerous time of year when it comes to fires, which injure 2,600 people and
cause more than $930 million in damages every year during the holidays,
according to a news release by the MFD.

"We see an increase, mostly because of the cooking fires," said Eric
Dahl, MPD's public information officer. "Thanksgiving, for instance, is the
worst day for cooking fires. Also, since it's really cold, we’ll see more calls
involving heating equipment like fireplaces or old furnaces."

Officials recommend using caution when decorating trees for
the holidays. If using a real tree, make sure it is fresh, and if using an
artificial tree, make sure it is flame resistant, according to the MFD. The
tree stand should be sturdy, hold at least a gallon of water, and always be
filled. Also, keep it away from candles, fireplaces or anything that generates


"We see a lot of fires caused by candles because of placing them too
closely to things that will burn, like decorations," Dahl said. "If you leave
the room, make sure to blow out the candles. Also, be careful with children and
pets around candles, to keep them out of their reach or supervise them while
the candles are lit."

Also, in regard to lights, Dahl said to check all bulbs and
cords to make sure they are in full working condition, and to make sure not to
overload any electrical circuits. Also, do not run chords under rugs. Dahl
recommended considering switching to LED lights because they produce less heat
and use less electricity.

"The best advice (for students) we can give is, know how to get out so
that if there is a fire and if the alarm does go off, don't ignore it," Dahl
said. "We know there are a lot of false alarms on the buildings on campus, but
you can't ignore it, because you never know when it's going to be the real

Along with fire safety, the MFD also warned residents about
thin ice in a second news release. Officials say ice should be four to six
inches thick before walking on it, and parents should be particularly careful
in warning their children to stay off the ice.

Before walking on ice, one should check for thin, clear,
honeycomb-shaped or dark ice, which are signs of weak spots. Also, if the
shoreline is cracked or squishy, the MFD recommends staying off.


— Bridget Roby contributed to this report.

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