Tips: Winter Fire Safety
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently urged Americans to take extra fire safety precautions this winter in the wake of several multiple fatality fires over the past few weeks.
- Watch your cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- Give space heaters space. Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Smoke outside. Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.
- Inspect electrical cords. Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.
- Be careful when using candles. Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Have a home fire escape plan. Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
- Install and test smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Interconnect smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries once a year or when the alarm “chirps” to tell you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms. Install CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home.
- Install sprinklers. If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain, and may even extinguish, a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.