Home Fire Safety
Basic kitchen fire safety practices.
• Never leave cooking unattended, and keep potholders, towels, food packing, and other clutter away from burners.
• Keep your stove top and oven clean of grease and other residue that can ignite.
• Do not store combustibles, such as paper bags, cardboard, near a stove where they may ignite.
• Turn pot handles inwards so pots cannot be knocked off the stove or pulled down by small children.
Children are naturally curious and fascinated by fire. Until they are taught to respect fire, they can’t be expected to understand the dangers involved.
• Teach young children that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not children’s toys.
• Store all matches and lighters up high (above adult shoulder height) out of children’s reach, and preferably in a locked cabinet.
• Ensure that your child knows what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency.
• Have an escape plan.
• Emergency contact numbers such as 911.
• Know how to contact family members.
• Know the home address.
• Have your central heating system inspected and cleaned once a year and whenever you suspect a problem.
• Never store combustibles or flammable liquids in your heating and A/C closet.
• Keep portable space heaters at least three feet away from walls.
• Keep all combustibles (newspapers, cloth, and furniture) at least three feet away from stoves, fireplaces, portable heaters and space heaters.
• Have your chimney inspected at least once a year and cleaned and repaired as often as necessary.
• Circuit breakers are designed to trip and disconnect power from an electrical circuit in the event of an over load. If a circuit breaker is tripped, find out what overloaded the circuit and correct the problem before resetting the breaker.
• Misused extension cords are a fire hazard. Never run extensions cords across doorways, under carpets, or pinch them under or behind furniture.
• Check all electrical cords for cracks, frays, broken plugs, and loose connections. Replace any cord that’s in poor condition or gets hot when in use.
• Never leave appliances on when you’re not at home. For example clothes dryers, gas or electric, produce a large amount of heat that may ignite dust or lint.
Statistics show that candle fires are one of the few types of home fires that have increased over the past decade.
• Never leave a room or home where candles are in use.
• Keep candles at least one foot away from walls, curtains, decorations, and flammable liquids.
• Two out of five home candle fires start in bedrooms. If you must burn candles in the bedroom keep them away from bedding, curtains, blinds, etc.
• Use sturdy candleholders that won’t tip or burn.
• Burn candles on sturdy, uncluttered surfaces.
• Trim candles wicks to one-quarter inch before lighting.
• When lighting and burning candles, keep your hair and clothing away from the flame.
• Extinguish candles when they burn within two inches of their holder.
Flammable and Combustible Liquids
All flammable and combustible liquids can be hazards because their vapors ignite so easily.
Gasoline vapors can ignite with as little as a small spark.
• Store fuels in a locked shed in an unbreakable, tightly sealed, and properly labeled container.
• Never use gasoline as a solvent or cleaner.
• Never smoke when using flammable or combustible liquids, including lacquers and paint thinners.
• Ordinary nail polish is a flammable liquid and should never be used near an open flame.
Residential structure fires account for the vast majority of fatal fires. In two thirds of these fires smoke alarms are missing or not working.
• Recommended placement of smoke detectors are every floor of your home including the basement. Smoke detectors should be placed in halls or areas leading to bedrooms and in bedrooms themselves.
• Test all smoke detectors at least once a month.
• Use smoke alarms equipped with lithium-powered, long-life batteries and hush buttons to quickly stop nuisance alarms caused by steam, rising heat, oven smoke, or other causes.
• If long-life smoke alarms are not available, install smoke alarms that use regular batteries and replace batteries at least twice a year. To help you remember these semiannual tasks, change your batteries when you change your clocks in spring and fall.
There are several types of extinguishers available. Class A B C Multipurpose Dry Chemical are your most common fire extinguishers, due to most areas containing a variety of ordinary combustibles, solvents and electrical equipment. To help you better understand the A B C Multipurpose Dry Chemical Extinguisher a breakdown of the classes are as follows.
• Class A Fires- Ordinary combustibles: The most common fire, called Class A, involves burning wood, cloth, paper and plastic.
• Class B Fires- Flammable Liquids: Class B fires involve flammable and combustible liquids such as gasoline, diesel, thinners and ordinary nail polish.
• Class C Fires- Electrical Equipment: Fires in energized electrical, called Class C, are especially dangerous to fight. In addition to the hazards associated with fire, the potential for electrocution exists. Never attempt to put out a Class C with water.
The Fire Department recommends at least 1, 5 pound A B C Fire Extinguisher in the kitchen area of every home. The Fire Extinguisher should be readily accessible in the event of an emergency.
When using a Fire Extinguisher remember the acronym P.A.S.S.
• P- Pull Pull the safety pin.
• A- Aim Aim the fire extinguisher.
• S- Squeeze Squeeze the handle/lever.
• S- Sweep Sweep the base of the fire in a rapid left to right motion.
Exit Drills In The Home
Having fire drills are an important function in your home. They can help you determine what actions can or can’t be taken prior to an emergency. Knowing what to do prior to an emergency can save valuable time to escape. If children are in the household involve them in all drills. Its also important to practice drills at all times of the day.
The following are pointers to aid in developing/practicing an emergency exit drill.
• Know two ways out of every room. (Bedroom door or window)
• Know two ways out of the home. (Front/Rear doors or windows)
• Test any interior door with back of your hand, if hot use an alternate exit.
• Crawl fast and stay low to escape smoke. “STAY LOW AND GO”
• Have a family meeting spot. (Mail box, tree, neighbors house etc..)
• Never return into a burning house. “GET OUT AND STAY OUT”
• Call 911 only when out of the home.
• Practice using different exits or areas of the home blocked.
Although the Fire Department is very familiar with the neighborhoods in our area it is important to remember that any assistance we have in identifying a home could be time saving and possibly lifesaving.
Tips on Home and Premises Identification.
• Home/premises identification should be placed in a position to be plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property.
• These numbers should contrast with their background.
• Numbers should be a minimum of 4 inches high and a ½ inch in stroke.
• Maintain shrubs and bushes when address becomes blocked.
Fire Hydrants are placed in manner to aid the Fire Department with water supply in the event of a structure fire. When hydrants are hidden due to vegetation or objects, first responding Fire Engines may not see the hydrant and go to another hydrant location further away from the initial scene causing valuable time to be lost. The following are violations of the International Fire Code.
• A three (3’) foot minimum clearance is required around the fire hydrant including ingress from the curb.
• Vegetation or objects should not hinder Fire hydrant accessibility, or visibility daytime or nighttime.
• Vegetation around the Fire hydrants immediate area should not grow higher than half the height of the fire hydrant.
• No parking within 15’ feet of a Fire Hydrant.
The Fire Department is requesting cooperation with this matter, so that we may be able to serve you and your neighbors in a proficient manner.