October 3-9th is Fire Preventon Week. Below are a few tips to keep your family safe all year long. For more information please click here to visit the National Fire Protection Association website
Space Heater Safety
* When buying a new unit, make sure that a qualified technician installs the unit or checks that the unit has been installed properly.
* For wood or coal stoves or fireplaces, have a professional inspect the chimney, chimney connector and other related equipment every year, and have them cleaned as often as the inspections indicate.
* Keep space heaters at least three feet (or one meter) away from anything that can burn.
* Fuel portable kerosene heaters in a well-ventilated area away from flames or other heat sources, and only when the device has cooled completely. Use only the type of kerosene specified by the manufacturer, and never use gasoline. Use only if such heaters are legal in your community.
* When turning a heating device on or off, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
* When buying heaters, choose devices with automatic shut-off features.
* Make sure any gas-fueled heating device is adequately ventilated. Unventilated gas space heaters in bedrooms or bathrooms must be small and well-mounted. Never use liquefied-petroleum gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies in the home.
* Portable space heaters should be turned off every time you leave a room or go to bed.
* Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose ashes in a metal container.
Avoid an Electrical Fire
* Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
* Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
* In homes with small children, electrical outlets should have plastic safety covers.
* Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
* Avoid overloading outlets. Consider plugging only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
* If outlets or switches feel warm, shut off the circuit and have them checked by an electrician.
* When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
* Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp’s recommended wattage.
Clothes Dryers Safety Tips
* Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter. Clean lint filters before or after each use and remove accumulated lint from around the drum.
* Make sure that the dryer is plugged into an outlet suitable for its electrical needs as overloaded electrical outlets can result in blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers.
* Turn the dryer off when leaving the home.
* Keep the dryer area clear of combustibles (i.e., boxes or clothing).
* Dryers should be installed and serviced by a professional.
* Have gas-powered dryers inspected by a professional regularly to ensure that the gas line and connection are intact.
Cooking Fires – Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Most cooking equipment fires start with the ignition of common household items (e.g., food or grease, cabinets, wall coverings, paper or plastic bags, curtains, etc.).
* Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
* Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended, and keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven.
* Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (e.g. potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging).
* Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet (1 meter) around the stove. Keep pets from underfoot so you do not trip while cooking. Also, keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto burner.
* Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
* Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.
* Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don’t remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire and never discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen, actually spreading the fire.
* If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.
* If there is a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Call the fire department and make sure to have the oven serviced before you use it again. Food cooked in a microwave can be dangerously hot. Remove the lids or other coverings from microwaved food carefully to prevent steam burns.