Fire Safety Tips


Install Smoke Detectors; Test Monthly; and Replace Batteries Annually

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside the bedrooms. Test your smoke detectors monthly. If they are battery operated, replace the batteries at least once a year or when they "chirp". This chirping sound means the battery is low. A good time to check and change the batteries in your detector is when it's daylight savings time.


Make and Practice Your Home Escape Plan

  • Make a home escape plan for the whole family before a fire ever starts. Practice your home escape plan with the whole family twice a year. If you know what to do ahead of time, you have a better chance of escaping from a fire.


Check Your Plan!

• Does everyone know two ways out of each room? The first way is probably a door and the second way out might be a window or another door.

• Do all windows and doors needed for escape open easily?

• Have you chosen a meeting place out front where everyone will meet? You want to be able to tell the fire department that everyone is out safely.


If a Fire Does Occur:

• Stay out; Don't go back inside a burning building for anything or anyone. Let the fire department do that! They have the training and the protective equipment.

• Call the fire department from a neighbor’s house or any calling device. or you can  use the fire alarm call box if there is one at the street or at the fire department. Remember to remain calm when calling 911 and let them know that everyone is out safely!


Keep Your Kitchen Fire Safe or Stand By Your Pan!

  • Kitchen fire safety starts with the cook! Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Never leave cooking unattended, but if you must leave the kitchen for a moment, turn the surface burners off. Stand by your pan! Keep small appliances unplugged when not in use and keep them clean and dry. If a small grease fire occurs, use the "Put A Lid On It" technique. Smother the flames by sliding a cover or larger pan over the fire and turn off the burner; never pour water on a grease fire or move the burning pan. You can also use baking soda, or use a Class A, B, C extinguisher, but only for last resort because the extinguishing agent will contaminate the area.  If the fire does not go out instantly, leave the house and call the fire department. Cooking fires can quickly get out of control!


Winter Seasonal Fire Safety Tips:

  • Tree Safety

    • Never use candles as decorations.

    • Keep trees away from heat.

    • Never use a cut tree in a place of public assembly (apartment or hotel lobbies, restaurants, etc.)

    • Water a cut tree at least daily.

    • Use a "non-tip" tree stand.

    • Use only fire retardant decorations.

    • Never leave a lighted tree unattended.

    • Dispose of your tree properly, soon after the holiday before needles dry out.

    • Artificial trees should have a fire retardant label.

  • Keep the season Bright - Watch Those Lights!

  • Unplug all lighting before retiring for the evening or leaving the house.

  • Blow out candles before leaving the room. Don't leave candles burning unattended.

  • Purchase lights and electric decorations which are listed by an approved testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).

  • Check all lighting for frayed wires, broken plugs, sockets, etc.

  • Never overload outlets. Use no more than three strands of lights on a single extension cord.

  • Never use candles on trees, near live or other flammable decorations.

  • Never hang lights on a metallic tree.

  • Always use appropriate weatherproof lights outdoors.

  • Give the Gift of Life - Give Smoke Detectors!!!!



Fall Seasonal Fire Safety Tips:

Change Your  Clock

Change Your Battery

As we go into the high fire season, when you change your clock, make another change. A change that could save your life--the battery in your smoke detector! A working smoke detector alerts you and your family during the early stage of a fire while you still have time to make a safe exit. So, the next time you Change your clock...Change your battery!

Exercise Caution

When Storing Newspapers


Recycle, but always be careful to store newspapers in a cool, dry place at least three feet away from any heat-generating devices. Newspapers can generate heat and ignite themselves; therefore, they should never be stored in a warm, damp area.


Prevent Dryer Fires

  • Clothes dryers are a leading cause of fires in homes, hotels and motels, and hospitals.

  • Clean the filter screen after each load.
    This will keep the vent clear. When accumulated lint clogs the vent, the dryer can overheat and a fire could result.

  • Stay home while the dryer is in use.
    Turn off the dryer before leaving the house.

  • Clean vents to the outside:
    Twice a year you should clean the hose pipe that vents to the outside. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck out accumulated lint and dust. Ensure the vent screen is present to keep birds, mice, bugs, leaves from entering the vent.

  • Vacuum the motor area.
    The dust and lint in the vent pipe can ignite if it gets hot enough. Vacuum the motor area if you can get to it. You may have to remove a panel to get at it.

  • Clean commercial dryers regularly.
    Commercial dryers get a lot of use and will have a common venting system. It is extremely important to have the vent systems cleaned regularly.



Carbon Monoxide

  • Carbon monoxide is the product of the incomplete combustion. It is odorless and colorless and is highly toxic. Carbon monoxide is a flammable and potentially explosive gas. The effects of carbon monoxide range from a mild headache to lethargy and confusion, unconsciousness, and death.

  • Causes of carbon monoxide in a building can include improper combustion or improper ventilation of furnaces fueled by natural gas or oil, water heaters, fireplaces, wood burning stoves, or even from fumes from an automobile running in a garage or in close proximity to a building.  A blockage in a chimney or flue pipe can cause carbon monoxide accumulation. Carbon monoxide will also be generated by the extremely dangerous practice of using barbecues, portable stoves, or portable heaters inside a building.

  • The danger of carbon monoxide is that this insidious gas will starve oxygen from the body. Carbon monoxide can not be detected by the human nose or other senses. The symptoms or carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to flu symptoms, as well as headaches, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, weakness, vision problems, and loss of muscle control and motor coordination. If a person is left untreated in a heavy accumulation of CO, unconciousness and death can result. If the symptoms disappear when you are away from the house, suspect the presence of carbon monoxide. Symptoms may vary according to the individual.

  • If you suspect carbon monoxide contamination, get everyone outside immediately. Call the Fire Department via 911 (using a telephone away from the suspected area) and report any medical symptoms and the possibility of carbon monoxide contamination. The Fire Department will respond immediately to provide medical care if needed and to test the building for carbon monoxide contamination by the use of air sampling meters. Remember that carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can only be positively identified by sophisticated air sampling and detection equipment.

Gas Barbecue Grill Safety Concerns:

  • Propane is a flammable gas stored under pressure.

  • Leaking propane can cause a fire or explosion if the propane reaches an ignition source.

  • Rapidly heated cylinders can also explode in a fire situation.

  • Never take a propane tank inside any building or dwelling, even momentarily.

  • Never store or use propane in any building, garage, or enclosed space.

  • Propane vapors are heavier than air. The vapors will flow into low areas such as cellars, sumps, and window-wells.

  • If there is a gas leak or uncontrolled fire, evacuate the area. Call the fire department from a telephone remote from the leak such as from a neighbor's house or from a cell phone or pull the nearest street fire alarm box.

Always keep tanks standing upright.

  • If a propane grill were to be used:L
    Place grill on a noncombustible surface only at grade level.
    Make sure that the grill is at least 10 feet from any combustible surfaces such as buildings, walls, deck railings, and vehicles.
    Make sure that the grill is at least ten feet from any possible ignition sources such as air conditioners, lights, or cars.
    Do not allow anyone to smoke when working with a propane tank.
    Keep children and pets away from the grill.
    Keep the propane tank shut off when not in use.
    Store the propane tank in a shaded area. Heat from sunlight will cause the gas to expand and vent from the tank.
    Periodically check all connections to make sure that they are secure and that there are no leaks.
    When transporting a propane tank for refilling, do not leave it inside an enclosed car or trunk because the gas will vent automatically when it is heated or warmed.
    Keep all hoses and connections free from spilled food, grease, and dirt.





Oily Rags:


The Fire Department and Department of Public Works are frequently asked the question- How to dispose of oily rags?


Oily rags have a long history as being a source of fire.


Let’s first look at what elements are needed to have fire. There needs to be heat, oxygen and fuel combined by a chemical chain reaction for fire to exist.


Oily rags that get folded or balled up and then tossed on the floor or other surface can spontaneously combustion and catch on fire due to a process that starts with oxidation.


Oxidation takes place as the oil is drying on the rag and this produces heat.


Air gets trapped in the folds or balled up portions and normal breathing air contains approximately 21% oxygen.


Rags are typically made of some type of combustible cloth that is a great source of fuel.


Although there may be many recommendations on how to best dispose of an oily rag the fire department has narrowed it down to two.



1.  For the continuous user of oil soaked rags, such as on a daily or weekly basis, it is recommended that a listed oily waste container be used and emptied by a private contractor that is in the business of this sort of disposal.


2.  For the less frequent user it will be acceptable to dispose of the rags during a city sponsored hazardous waste collection day. In the meantime until those days arrive, it would be advisable to either dry the rags unfolded on an outdoor clothes line or keep them in a non combustible container, such as glass or metal, with a solution of water and an oil breakdown detergent that completely covers the rags.

3. Linseed oil rags have the highest chance of spontaneous combustion. Charcoal, such as what's used in grilling, if it's been wettened from water, should be removed immediately from indoors and placed outside or in a metal container.


Note: Although ABC and BC Dry Chemical extinguishers can control a fire involving electronic equipment, the National Fire Code (NFPA 75-1999 edition), Section 6-3-2, specifically advises against dry-chemical extinguishers for fires involving computers or other delicate electronic equipment due to the potential damage from residues.



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