General Fire Safety Tips:
- Keep children away from open flames and electrical outlets.
- Make sure your smoke alarm is maintained and working properly.
- Check alarms monthly and change batteries once a year.
- Daylight savings time is a great way to remember to change alarm batteries.
- Have a smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside of sleeping areas.
- Keep your emergency numbers near the telephone.
- Teach your children how to "unlock" and locate emergency numbers in your cell phone's contact list.
- Always call the fire department for any fire, even if the fire has been completely extinguished.
Have a Fire Escape Plan:
- Plan two ways out of every room.
- Practice your escape plan twice yearly.
- practice crawling under low smoke.
- Have a pre-arranged meeting place outside your home.
- Call the fire department from a neighbor's home.
- Once outside, stay out - never go back inside for an item or a pet.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (CO):
- Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning materials that containing carbon. Long enough exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to brain damage or even death.
- The most common sources of CO poisoning are: motor vehicle exhaust, smoke from fires, engine fumes, and non electric heaters.
- Other possible sources are: gas water heaters, kerosene space heaters, charcoal grills, propane heaters & stoves, gasoline & diesel powered generator, cigarette smoke, any boat with an engine, spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers.
- The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
- Ways to prevent CO poisoning are:
- Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Install battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911.
- Seek medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.
- Don't use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, garage, or near a window.
- Don't run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
- Don't burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn't vented.
- Don't heat your house with a gas oven.
- Always keep a burning candle in sight.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch on fire.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Trim candlewicks to 1/4 inch each time before burning.
- Always use a candle holder specifically designed for candle use.
- Be sure the candle is placed on a stable surface.
- Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches, and debis at all times.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer's use and safety instructions carefully.
- Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans, and air currents.
- Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
- Don't burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the flam if it comes too close to the holder or container.
- Never touch a burning candle or move a container candle when the wax is liquid.
- Place burning candles at least 3 inches apart from one another.
- Never extinguish candles with water.
- Be very careful if using candles during a power outage.
- Make sure a candle is completely extinguished and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
- Extinguish a candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high.
- Never use a candle as a night light.
- Read the labels of the products you buy and keep in your garage. Make sure to follow their safety instructions.
- Store poisons in a place where children cannot see or touch them.
- Keep products in the container they came in and clearly labeled.
- Do not mix products together.
- Keep gasoline in a container specifically designed to control the flammable vapors. Make sure the container is clearly labeled.
- If possible store the gasoline container in an outdoor shed and away from your home.
Heating Your Home Safely :
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a 3 foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance from your home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
Safely Burn Fuels :
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote,a black tar like substance, buildup.
- Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, trash, or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
- When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fire place on an adequate supporting grate.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.
Protect the Outside of Your Home:
- Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.
- Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
- Cover the chimney with a mesh screen and spark arrester.
- Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.