The following information will help you identify and eliminate potential fire hazards from your home. And in the event of a fire, help you and your family safely escape, and minimize fire damage.
Nobody expects a fire. But it's very important to have a plan just in case there is one. Fire can happen anywhere, in your home, apartment or place of business. In case of fire, what you don't know can hurt you. Keep in mind fires don't always happen to someone else. Having an escape plan could make the difference between life and death for you and your family.
1. Install and Maintain Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors warn you of a fire in time for you to escape. Install them in each level of your home and outside each sleeping area. Follow the manufacture's directions and test it once a week. Replace batteries twice a year, and when the detector chirps to signal that the battery is dead. Clean your smoke detectors regularly using a vacuum cleaner without removing the alarm cover. Don't ever take the battery out for other uses!
2. Space Heaters Need Space: Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet from paper, curtains, furniture, clothing, bedding, or anything else that can burn. Never leave on when you leave home or go to bed, and keep children and pets well away from them.
3. A Match is a Tool for Adults: In the hands of a child, matches or lighters are extremely dangerous. Store them up high where kids can't reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet. And teach your children from the start, that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not toys for kids. If children find matches, they should tell and adult immediately.
4. Candles are Dangerous: The use of candles for many reasons is becoming increasingly more and more popular. Along with the increase in candle usage is an increase in candle related fires and fatalities. If you have to use candles, you can limit the risk to yourself and your family by following a few simple safety procedures.
• Never leave a lit candle unattended
• Never leave candles burning when you go to bed
• Never leave a child or pet with a lit candle or any open flame, children and pets can knock over a candle causing a fire or possible burns
• Never use candles near combustible materials such as curtains, drapes, bedding, and or cabinets.
• If you are going to use candles, make sure they sit properly in holders on a flat stable non-flammable surface
5. Plan and Practice Your Escape: If fire breaks out in your home, you must get out fast. With your family plan two ways out of every room. Choose a meeting place outside where everyone should gather. Once you are out, stay out! Have the whole family practice the escape plan at least twice a year.
6. Crawl Low Under the Smoke: If you encounter smoke using your primary exit, use your alternate route instead. If you must exit through smoke, cleaner air will be down near the floor. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest safe exit.
7. Be careful Cooking: Keep cook areas clear of combustibles, and don't leave items unattended while their cooking. Keep your pot's handles turned inward so that children won't knock or pull them over the edge of the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, then turn off the burner.
8. Use Electricity Safely: If an appliance smokes or begins to smell unusual, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. If you use extension cords, replace any that are cracked and frayed and don't overload them or run them under rugs or through walls or doorways. Remember that fuses and circuit breakers protect you from fire. Don't tamper with the fuse box or use fuses that are not the correct size.
9. House Numbers: Very often, Fire, Ambulance and Police agencies receive a call for help only to waste precious moments looking for the correct house. Don't let this happen to your family. Make sure that your house numbers are at least 5 inches high andclearly visible from the road.
10. Wood Stoves, Fireplaces, Furnaces and Chimneys: Have your chimney and furnace checked and cleaned every year before you use them. Ashes from the fireplace or wood stove should be placed in a metal noncombustible container and placed outside away from the home.
As of 2-22-2010 ALL buildings, new or old, with sleeping quarters are now required to have a carbon monoxide detector, and as of 06-27-2015 all commercial buildings and restaurants that have appliances or systems that emit Carbon Monoxide or have an attached garage must have a Carbon Monoxide detector installed.The only exception would be if there is no carbon monoxide source located within or attached to the structure. I will be checking for CO detectors on each remodel permit inspection. Please call the Fire Marshal if you need assistance with placement or with any other questions.
Did you know?
Follow these tips to help save your life and property from fire: