Oct. 7 - 13 is National Fire Prevention Week. It is always a good idea to review how to prevent fires from occurring and also how to handle them when they break out.
If you see a fire or your smoke detector sounds take action quickly by calling 9-1-1 or your local fire department. Here are fire prevention tips to review and to share with your family.
Learn about the beginnings of Fire Prevention Week and how you can participate.
Fire Prevention tips:
- Always monitor what you are cooking. Turn off the stove if you need to leave the kitchen for any reason. If you are simmering, boiling, or baking food, remember to check them regularly. Never leave your home when the stove or oven is lit.
- Keep any item that can burn at least three feet away from the stove top. This includes, but is not limited to, dishtowels, oven mitts and pot holders, paper or plastic bags, and curtains.
- Keep your stovetop and burners clean — remove any grease or food remnants.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen. Make sure you know how to use it and what type of fire extinguisher will put out common kitchen fires, such as grease fires.
- Plug microwaves directly into an outlet. Plugging a microwave into an extension cord can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
If you see a fire or your smoke detector goes off:
- Calmly exit the building/home.
- Find alternative ways out if you see smoke under a door.
- Be sure to touch each door with the back of your hand before opening it. If door feels hot, find alternative exits.
- Stay low to avoid smoke and other fumes; crawl on the ground to exit.
- Remember, stop, drop, and roll if your clothes do catch fire. Stop where you are; Drop to the floor; Roll over and back again to extinguish the flames.
- Be sure to call 9-1-1 once you are out of harm’s way.
- In a multi-story building, if you get trapped on a non-ground-level floor, stay near a window and close to the floor. Signal for assistance out the window.
- Here is a list of local fire departments.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
- Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.
- Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplace doors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.
- Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
- Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire - especially in a fireplace inside your home.
- Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup in your chimney.
- Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace.
- When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
- Allow ashes to cool before disposing (i.e., soak hot ashes in water) and place them in a metal container to avoid any potential fire hazards and store them three feet away from any combustible materials.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
Cooking Safety Tips:
- Keep pot handles turned inward.
- Keep cooking surfaces and surrounding areas free from clutter and grease build-up.
- Use pot holders and oven mitts.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing with flowing sleeves while cooking.
- Take a reminder with you if you must leave the kitchen with food cooking on the stovetop.
- Always be watchful and alert when you cook