Safety At Home
The following winter fire
safety tips will help you and your loved ones get through another cold
In this age of high energy
costs, adding insulation to your house can save you energy, but it could
also lead to a fire. You should have your home electrical system checked and
have deficiencies corrected by a qualified electrician, especially before
installing insulation. Always, make sure insulation is kept away from
ceiling light fixtures and other heat sources.
Your furnace flue must be
inspected regularly. Your furnace gives off heat and something else too -
carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide gas has often been described as the 'silent
killer'. Clear, colorless and tasteless, it is difficult to detect.
If your furnace flue is clogged
or loose, carbon monoxide could be going into your lungs instead of up the
chimney. You should have your flue inspected on a regular basis by a
qualified workman before it's too late for an inspection to make a
Wood burning appliances are a
subject of expanding use and concern due to rising energy costs. Experts do
not recommend the purchase or installation of any wood burning stove unless
it is air-tight and has controlled airflow. You should be aware that if you
are burning a lot of wood, your stovepipe and chimney may have a heavy
buildup of creosote. If the creosote were to catch fire, your roof could
catch fire too. Clean out creosote before it wipes you out! Fireplace
chimneys should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year, stovepipe
chimneys once a month.
If your furnace is not properly
maintained you could be in very big trouble. Carbon monoxide, the 'silent
killer' could be spreading throughout your house as a result of the
malfunction, Carbon monoxide, highly flammable and explosive, can increase
to a great degree the risk of fire, injury, and death. You should have your
furnace inspected on a regular basis by a qualified professional. Why take a
chance when your life and that of your family depends on it?
installed and maintained smoke detectors are critical life saving devices.
While a smoke detector won't prevent or extinguish a fire, it can save
one’s life. Smoke detectors are designed to warn of fire danger in time to
allow for escape or call for help. The ear-piercing alarm of the smoke
detector may provide you and your family with the precious extra minutes
that you need to escape, especially at night (when most fires occur).
When installing smoke
detectors, you should take the following steps:
Install at least one smoke detector in the hall leading to the
Consider installing additional smoke detectors, especially if your
home has more than one level.
Make sure smoke detectors are of a type approved by Underwriters’
Laboratories or other recognized testing laboratory.
If your detectors are battery operated, check the batteries often to
make sure the units are operational.
A fire is no fun, but practicing fire safety can be. Here are some fire
safety rules that the whole family can practice together.
the layout of each floor, including windows, doors, and stairways. Make
sure that every family member is familiar with the layout.
out TWO escape routes from each room and mark them clearly on the
frequent fire drills, including some at night, so everyone will know
what to do and be able to act quickly in an emergency.
a member of the family to be responsible for the elderly or the very
young to help them escape. A ‘buddy system’ should be organized to
ensure their safety.
a meeting place outside of the home and instruct everyone to go there at
once in case of fire.
heads, stay together and DO NOT go back into the house for personal
the event of a real fire or emergency, have someone call the fire department
from the nearest available phone by dialing 9-1-1.
year hundreds of people are killed or bodily injured in fires where they
live. The victims of fire are most often children, older people, or
handicapped persons. Many of these fires are the result of accidents that
could have been prevented. The elimination of all fire hazards is the key to
any effective fire safety program. As most fires are the result of
carelessness, the greatest element of safety comes from prevention.
trash in covered containers and dispose of it regularly.
paints, paint thinners and other flammable materials in their original
containers and in a well ventilated area, away from all fire
work areas of paint, sawdust, or trash after every do-it-yourself
overload circuits or use frayed electrical extension cords.
all electrical wiring checked by a competent electrician periodically to
make sure it is not faulty.
only fuses and circuit breakers which bear the labels of nationally
recognized certification and testing agencies.
run an extension cord under a rug or behind curtains.
not let large amounts of trash accumulate either indoors or outdoors.
Clean attics, basements, closets, garages, and sheds frequently.
an eye on your chimney
may never be necessary to sweep chimneys of homes heated by oil or gas.
Any problem with the chimney should be spotted during the annual inspection
of the furnace performed by a qualified, knowledgeable professional.
However, it is necessary to regularly sweep chimneys of homes heated by
solid fuels (wood and coal) because of creosote buildup associated with the
burning of some grades of wood and coal. The resins and gases produced by a
smoldering fire don’t burn off but go up the chimney where they condense
into creosote and present a fire hazard. After a period of time, starting a
fire can set the chimney aflame.
and wood burning appliances
These types of appliances and their accessories are a subject of expanding
use and concern due to rising energy costs. With the increased use of wood
and coal stoves more information is needed by the home owner. For someone
considering the installation of a wood or coal stove, a fireplace, or a
solid-fuel furnace, careful consideration must be given to the safety
aspects of the equipment and the installation. Expert advice is often
required. Instructions must be followed to the letter. Anyone
intending to change or modify his heating system should discuss the matter
with his insurance agent, broker, or company. The proposed action may be
considered an additional risk for which an appropriate premium may be
required. For additional information on the safe installation and use of
solid fuel burning appliances and accessories, contact your fire department.