1. Install smoke detectors on each level of the home.
2. Make sure there are two clear ways out of every room and that everyone knows these routes and has practiced emergency escape.
3. Never smoke in bed. Use only sturdy ashtrays and check for spilled butts in furniture.
4. Have your chimney and heating system inspected annually.
5. Take extra care in heating your home with portable or space heaters. Keep combustibles clear, clean regularly, and refuel properly.
6. Never overload electrical outlets, never override or bypass fuses or circuit breakers, and keep cords out of harm’s way.
7. Store matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of small children.
8. Never leave cooking unattended, and keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles.
9. Never store gasoline inside the home.
10. Store paints, thinners, and other flammables in their original containers, away from heat, sparks, or flame.
11. Keep attic free from combustibles such as old newspapers or magazines.
12. Display large address numbers that the fire department can easily see.
Fireproofing Your Home for the Holidays
The holiday season and the colder weather that often accompanies it bring all types of fire hazards into our homes, workplaces and almost every building we enter.
From blinking lights and other decorations to a warm fire in the fireplace, it’s easy to see how safety precautions could be forgotten amid the sights and sounds of the holidays. But, by heeding a few important safety tips, we can enjoy the season and celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s Eve without the fear of fire.
Here are some precautions you can take:
• Keep all portable heaters at least three feet away from flammable items. Turn off space heaters before leaving a room or going to sleep. Also, use only manufacture recommended fuel in portable kerosene heaters. Shut down and cool off such equipment before refueling.
• If you celebrate the holidays with a live Christmas tree, find a fresh one and give it water regularly. Also, keep the tree away from any heat sources or exits. If you use an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as flame retardant.
• Purchase only UL approved lights. Never use frayed or damaged strings or mix indoor or outdoor lights. Also, unplug lights before going to sleep each night or leaving your home.
• Do not overload electrical circuits, such as wall outlets and extension cords; use a circuit (power) strip.
• Keep a tight-fitting screen on your fireplace and obtain a professional inspection annually before usage. Have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis.
• Never burn holiday wrappings, a discarded Christmas tree or its branches in your fireplace. Dry Christmas trees burn very hot and extremely quick. The fire could ignite your carpet or nearby window coverings. Also, a Christmas tree is very oily and could damage your fireplace.