Fire Safety From Our Fire Marshal
Involve remote family members by having a designated family member (or friend) to call that lives out of the area and to whom everyone is instructed to reach in a crisis. They should act as a clearing house and be able to inform family members as to who has called and where they are located. If there were to be an earthquake, for example, family members might not be able to return home from work or an evening away and local telephone service might be unavailable. The possibility of children being kept at school also exists. Family members living away at college or other relatives would want to know your status. In certain instances, texting might work when phone calls would not. Let each family member know you are establishing a family contact (or two) outside the area, who it is, and their contact information
SAFETY IN YOUR HOME
Storage of flammable liquids (gasoline) should be in small quantities only and should be in approved containers. Keep these containers in a metal cabinet if possible and away from sources of heat and ignition. Do not store combustible materials in a mechanical room by a gas-fired furnace or water heater.
Check electrical items for proper use and/or wear. Extension cords should be the three-wire grounded type. Any used outdoors should be approved for such. All exterior electrical outlets should be GFIC protected. Extension cords are temporary and should never be used as a substitute for permanent wiring. Keep cords away from heat sources and electric space heaters away from combustible materials, such as a waste basket under a desk. Make sure the breakers in the electrical panel are all labeled and that there are no holes in the cover from missing breakers that have been removed. Electrical panels should be clear of all items for so” wide and 36” deep in front of the panel for immediate access.
Avoid unsafe practices such as using portable heaters supplied by fuel that are non-vented. If using such, allow for adequate ventilation. (That may mean that the device requires enough ventilation that no heat gain will be experienced.)
Perform maintenance and safety inspections on your home. Check your furnace and hot water heater flue vent to be sure that are in-tact and functioning. Replace batteries in Smoke Detectors and install CO Detectors. (They are manufactured in a duel-type detector as well.) Smoke Detectors generally, unless listed otherwise, have a function life of ten (10) years. Consider replacing them if they are too old.
Make sure address numbers are visible and readable from the street. Sometimes they have bushes grow and hide them or they are not in place at all. This assists emergency responders, some of whom might be from a neighboring jurisdiction ‘due to mutual aid,’ in locating the correct property in an emergency.
Consider getting a fire extinguisher in your home. The kitchen and the garage are the two most common areas for a fire within a dwelling so placing an extinguisher there is a better idea than a downstairs bathroom. Recommended rating: 2A:10BC. Using a rechargeable type will save money in the long run as it can be refilled and put back into service. Hang it by an exit so as to be able to escape should the extinguisher not suppress the fire and you will not be trapped inside as the fire grows. It should be noted that the use of an extinguisher should be carefully considered as evacuation is the best form of personal safety. DO NOT call 9-1-1 from within your home if it is on fire. Evacuate immediately and call them from a neighbor’s house.
Holiday lighting and outdoor electrical displays increase the risk of electrical shock. Also, climbing onto roofs or using tall ladders to install temporary lighting involves safety risks too. Be smart and stay safe!!