Mitigating the risk accociated with heaters Published Feb. 21, 2007 By Lt. Col. Brian Hastings 51st Fighter Wing Safety OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- We are rapidly approaching the winter season and the 51st Fighter Wing has begun a campaign in conjunction with 7th Air Force to place emphasis on the environmentally challenging portion of the year outside the "101 Critical Days of Summer." Not only is cold weather challenging, but the operations tempo is beginning to heat up as the days begin to cool off. The 51st FW has defined the period between Monday and May 5 as the "151 Wintry Daze." Mustang Safety is taking this opportunity to engage our personnel and supervisors to emphasize the basics: Have pride in what we do! Be professional at all times! Strive to be combat proficient! We all have a moral obligation to train, equip and protect our people in order to combat the "151 Wintry Daze." Nationally, the number two cause of fires in the home and the number three cause of fatal home fires are caused by the use of heating equipment. Use caution with heating equipment, especially portable heaters. During this time of year portable heaters are being used at work and home, and people forget about the associated risks. Supervisors are responsible to ensure heaters are used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations regarding: - Adequate clearance from combustible materials - Heaters are equipped with internal kill switches - Heaters should be turned off when an operator is not in the area - Heaters should be unplugged at the end of the duty day These recommendations will be used when operating portable heaters in work areas and living quarters. Let's make this winter one that is fire safe. Protect yourself, your wingmen, and your family from the risks associated with portable heaters.