4 Fire Safety Tips
It’s too Cold Outside to Ignore
The impressive snow drifts piling up outside your door hide a dangerous secret – winter is the top season for house fires. Why? It’s simple: We’re home more; we need extra heat; and we’re often, still surrounded by family members and holiday gear.
So, watch out for hotspots by following these firefighter-approved tactics:
- Stay In the kitchen when cooking — If you think fires can’t happen to you, think again. When you heat a pot and walk away, you’re setting the stage for a possible tragedy. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires in the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These comfort-food calamities result in 21% of home fire deaths and are responsible for nearly half the injuries.
Here’s how to stop kitchens from catching fire:
- Stay in the room while cooking or use a timer when cooking for long periods of time.
- Keep a residential fire extinguisher nearby and understand how to use it.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop. Cloth-made items, food packaging, and wood utensils are all flammable.
- Don’t use the stove or stove top when sleepy.
- Install a smoke alarm and test at least once month.
- Pay attention to your space heater — Heating equipment mishaps account for most home fire deaths and are the second leading cause of home fires. Space heaters take first place in this deadly game as they are responsible for four out of five home heating fire deaths, according to the NFPA.
Consider these easy steps when eyeballing your home for danger:
- Move anything that can burn at least three-feet from heating equipment.
- Check that space heaters are plugged into electrical outlets designed with the correct circuitry for heavy-duty appliances.
- Place heaters away from household traffic and urge children and seniors to keep a three foot distance.
- Always use the right kind of fuel specified by the manufacturer for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Provide proper ventilation for portable gas and oil heaters.
- Install and maintain a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm if you use gas heaters.
Check out this handy flyer on safely heating your home this winter, created as part of the state’s “Keep Warm Keep Safe” campaign.
3. Cultivate good fire safety habits
- Turn off electric blankets when not in use.
- Don’t use an oven to heat your home.
- Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Regularly clear out combustibles such as paper, cartons, old furniture and rags.
- Blow out candles before falling asleep.
4. Safeguard your portable generator — These awesome tools save lives across the world providing fuel-based heating and cooling throughout all sorts of environmental emergencies. Yet, like any other super useful gadget, they come with their own list of do’s and don’ts:
- Don’t use generators in the house, garage, crawl spaces or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas even with ventilation.
- Don’t place generators near doors and windows; this allows CO to enter the home.
- Do place generators as far away from the home as possible when positioning outside.
- Do keep the generator dry and only operate the generator on a dry surface in an open area, e.g., under an outdoor canopy.
For a full list of how to safely operate a generator during an emergency visit Massachusetts’ Department of Fire Services website.
The Hundred Club — Serving the Community
At The Hundred Club of Mass., we care for those who care for us. When these everyday people-turned-heroes lose their lives in the line of duty, we are here for their families. When a police officer or firefighter dies, in many cases, their paycheck and insurance stop before their death benefits begin, which is where the Hundred Club steps in to help. Your generosity provides immediate support to the families of these everyday heroes; funds they can rely upon to pay rent, groceries, and other bills. Help us continue the tradition of caring for those who care for us. Donate to the Survivor’s Fund: https://100clubmass.org/donate/