Posted October 18, 2018 05:59:08If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who loves to hike and bike, you may not be aware of the importance of the lights in your backyard.
That’s because, in the words of a Wyoming State Forestry official, you “might be the one with the most responsibility.”
And the reason?
According to the official, if you don’t make sure your outdoor lighting fixtures are up to code, your neighbors might be able to hear you.
Wyoming State Forestry spokesperson John Gagnon told the Idaho Statesman that the department had to issue an “emergency permit” for a house near an open fire after the owner reported seeing the blaze on video.
According to the Wyoming Dispatch News, the incident occurred in the state’s Wabasha County, just south of Laramie.
A resident saw the blaze and called the department to report it.
Gagnon said that if a house is open and the lights are on, that person “should be responsible for ensuring that the lights stay up.”
“If you are not the one making sure those lights stay on, the fire is going to come and it’s going to cause damage to your property,” Gagnons said.
“So, if that’s not your responsibility, then we’re going to have a little bit of a tough time.”
Gagnons also said that in his experience, “it’s very rare for people to get involved in this.”
He said that, on average, about 50 people in the community report seeing fire-related problems, and that most of them are likely not aware that there’s a state law on the books requiring outdoor lighting.
“It’s rare for someone to come to us and say, ‘Well, I’ve had a house fire and I don’t know if the lights were on or not,'” Gagnson said.
“And if you look at the numbers, about half of those cases have actually been prevented.”
But it may be easier for you to blame yourself.
In fact, according to the National Weather Service, about one-third of homes that get a fire report do not have a proper safety plan.
“If the house does not have the proper safety plans, we can’t put a house out,” Gaffney said.
If you live in Wyoming, make sure you keep the outdoor lights on, especially when you’re out on the trails or outdoors in the desert.