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How to be fire safe if you have bars on your windows

Top three tips from retired fire captain
Posted at 9:48 PM, Oct 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 09:21:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - After a deadly house fire in Logan Heights, 10News spoke with a retired fire captain on fire safety checks that can protect you and your family.

Bob Lyon is a retired fire captain and knows the tragedy that can come with burglar bars in the Logan Heights neighborhood, "something that they're using for protecting their lives, ends up being something that costs them their lives."

A Fire Code adopted in the late 1990's requires bars have a safety latch. "You put your foot on it, and it releases the bars because there's a little spacer in it and it will pop them, and the bars are supposed to swing open," Lyon said.

RELATED: One dead, five injured in Logan Heights house fire

Many homes still have old bars, or those with the safety mechanism can rust, locking them in place. "Rarely do people maintain those, just because they're something out of sight, out of mind," Lyon said solemnly.

Neighbor Miguel Hernandez a few doors down from the deadly Sunday morning fire told 10News in Spanish he checks his home's bars often to ensure the security of his family. He added he checks the smoke alarms as well, changing the batteries the recommended 6-months or each year.

Lyon said one more thing you can do is "sleeping with your bedroom doors closed because that helps compartmentalize and keeps the fire out of your room, gives you more time to get out."

It also gives firefighters more time to get to you.

Lyon said firefighters learn how to break through burglar bars in the academy, but it takes precious time.