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Sheriff reminds Montanans towing trailers to secure safety chains ahead of holiday weekend

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 13:34:27-04

BILLINGS- — Fire danger is high across the state right now and as many prepare to head out for the holiday weekend, they're tow campers, boats, horse trailers and more.

Bumper-pull trailers are required by law to have a set of safety chains attached to them, which must then be hooked to the towing vehicle. With this in mind, Musselshell County Sheriff Shawn Lesnik wants to remind people of an important safety tip.

“If you could just take a few extra moments of precaution, and on those safety chains you are legally required to hook up to your towing vehicle, tie them up,” Lesnik said Thursday.

Why is securing towing chains important? If they are dragged along the road, they can create sparks. These sparks could, in turn, create fires.

Lesnik recalls one such incident saying, “Every half mile there was another spark and another fire. We literally ran out of fire apparatuses to respond, there was so many different starts.”

Ways to secure safety chains include using rope, zip ties, or other methods to make sure that the chains are not too low to the ground.

Because the distance between the trailer and vehicle can change while turning, it is important to leave a small amount of slack on the chains.