Our homes will be filled with family and friends in the days and weeks ahead, so now is a good time to go over safety tips to help keep everyone safe this holiday season. Firefighter Michael McLeieer of E.S.C.A.P.E. and Jake the Fire Safety Dog have these tips:
•Be on alert! Don’t cook if you’re sleepy or have consumed alcohol
•Stand by your pan! Don’t leave the kitchen while you are cooking. If you do, turn off the stove.
•Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking
•Keep all flammables away from the stovetop
•Turn handles of pots and pans to the side (inside)
•Wear short or tight sleeves when cooking
•Cook on back burners first
•Keep kids away from cooking area – maintain a three-foot kid-free zone
•Have activities set up to keep kids out of the kitchen
•Double check to make sure burners are off when you’re finished
•Make sure your smoke alarms are working
Other Safety Tips:
•Put your prescriptions away. Pills look like candy to kids.
•Introduce visiting kids to pets gently or use a baby gate to keep them apart
Portable heaters need space. This feature segment by WLNS 6 News and the Delta Township Fire Department near Lansing Michigan shows how quickly fire can spread.
If you are buying or renting a manufactured home (sometimes called a mobile home), make sure you keep fire safety in mind. According to the National Fire Protection Association and E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire & Safety, by following a few tips and knowing the facts and the safety requirements for manufactured homes, you can help keep your family safe Where You Live.
- Choose a home built after 1976 that has the HUD label certifying that it meets certain minimum safety standards.
- Be sure your home has enough smoke alarms. Manufactured homes are required to be sold with smoke alarms, but sometimes people remove them. You need a smoke alarm inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and in or near the family/living room area(s). For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries at least once a year.
- Have a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room and an outside meeting place. Make sure all ways out of the home are easy to use. Practice your fire drill at least twice a year with your family.
- Make sure you can open and get out of windows and doors. Don’t block access to them.
- If the smoke alarms sound when you are cooking, consider moving the alarm further from the kitchen area or install a photoelectric type alarm with a hush button which is less sensitive to cooking.
- Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.
- Consider having a licensed electrician inspect the electrical system to be sure it is safe and meets the applicable National Electrical Code® requirements.
- Have smokers smoke outside the home. Provide large, non-tip ashtrays and empty them frequently. Douse butts with water before throwing them away. Check around and under cushions for smoldering butts.
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn. When purchasing new space heaters, select appliances with automatic shut-off switches. Turn off portable heaters before falling asleep or when leaving the room. Supervise children and pets when space heaters are operating.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries each year. Adults over the age of 65 are twice as likely to die in a cooking-related home fire. Adults 85 years and over are four times as likely to die from a burn injury. E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire & Safety offer a few tips you can follow to prevent these fires, fatalities, and injuries:
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the oven or stovetop.
- Stand by your pan! Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains— away from your stovetop.
- Turn handles of pots and pans to the side so you don’t accidentally bump them and spill the contents.
- Cook on back burners first to avoid young hands from touching hot burners or hot pans.
- Keep kids away from the cooking area. Maintain a three-foot kid free zone away from things that are hot and can burn (the stove, oven, microwave, or food).
- Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can easily catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
- Check the kitchen after you finish cooking to make sure the oven, burners and other appliances are turned off.
Remember to take a few minutes and use common sense to prevent a fire or burn injury Where You Live!
Throughout October, we have shared tips to keep your family safe from fire.
On Sunday, November 2, it’s time to change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries when you change your clock back one hour from Daylight Saving Time.
Families are encouraged to use the extra hour “gained” from the end of daylight saving time to review and practice their home fire safety plan and remind their friends, family and neighbors of the life-saving habit of testing and changing smoke alarm batteries.
Working smoke alarms double the chance of a family surviving a home fire and/or an unsafe carbon monoxide level.
Remember, when the smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sound, Get Out and Stay Out and then call 911 from the designated meeting place.
Sometimes saving a life can be that simple – Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® Where You Live!