WFD shares safety tips for the holidays

By Martin Graham - [email protected]

With the holiday season here at last, the Washington Fire Department (WFD) took time recently to share some safety tips and talked about how they are handling COVID-19 at the firehouse.

“We have posted fire safety tips on Facebook (,” WFD Chief Tim Downing said via email. “I would encourage everyone to check it out for safety tips as well as links to interactive fire safety activities for children. The best tips for now are to keep your trees watered, use only UL or FM approved and protected multi-plug adapters for your lights. Be especially careful not to overload outlets.”

Additionally, Downing knows that cooking is a big part of the holiday season and reminded the community to following safe cooking practices. These include ensuring a “kid-free zone” around the stove and other areas where hot food will be prepared or carried, remaining alert by not consuming alcohol or ensuring the operator is not sleepy prior to using the stove or stove top, and keeping anything that can catch fire (such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging towels or curtains) away from the stove.

Other safety tips include dealing with a grease fire by sliding a lid over a pan and turning the burner off and closing the oven door if an oven fire occurs. If all else fails though and there is any doubt about fighting a small fire, the WFD reminds the community to just get out, close the door on the way out and call 9-1-1. For more information visit the National Fire Protection Association website at

Downing also discussed how COVID-19 has impacted the department’s service and the day-to-day operations.

“We have stopped all in person fire safety education and reduced the number of inspections to limit contact,” Downing said. “As you know, the Fire Department has been closed to the public since the pandemic began. We remain closed at this time. Our personnel have been taking extra precautions to wear protective equipment when entering homes and businesses. Also, the crews continue to do a great job of disinfecting vehicles after each response. They have been extra vigilant in trying to prevent the spread of the virus within the Firehouse. However, this year has been trying on the group. We have had several families affected by the COVID-19 virus.”

Downing did confirm though that the firefighters are remaining healthy and have continued to maintain fire protection for citizens.

“I cannot speak for all the responders around the county, but I know that on several incidents where we needed other departments, they were there,” Downing said. “Therefore, I think it is safe to say that emergency services throughout the County have been well maintained during this pandemic. The responders in Fayette County have a great ‘team’ mentality.”

Stay with the Record-Herald for more on the impact of COVID-19 on 2020.

Reach Martin Graham on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.

By Martin Graham

[email protected]