Safety Tips

Home fires can start and spread quickly, which is why we all need to be careful and educated when it comes to fire safety.
Just a little bit of planning can make a big difference for your family.

Cooking Safety Tips

  • Never leave cooking food unattended
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven in on.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire – pot holder, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains – away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
  • Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with the doors closed. Use the test button to check the smoke detector each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year. The best way to remember to change the batteries is to change them whenever the time changes.

Source: American Red Cross, US Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association

Clothes Dryer Safety Tips

  • Never put synthetic fabric, plastic, rubber or foam in your dryer because they retain heat.
  • Clean the lint screen before and after each use.
  • Keep lint cleaned up all around the dryer.
  • Dryers must be vented to the outside.
  • Make sure the dryer has its own outlet.
  • Never leave home with the dryer running.

Source: Alert-all Corporation

Wiring and Extension Cord Safety Tips

  • In many older homes the capacity of the wiring system has not kept pace with today’s modern appliances. Overloaded electrical systems invite fire.
  • Watch for the following overloaded signals:
  1. Dimming lights when an appliance goes on.
  2. A shrinking TV picture.
  3. Slow heating appliances (like a toaster)
  4. Fuses blowing frequently
  • Check for frayed insulation
  • Check for damaged cords
  • Check for loose connections
  • Check for loose wall receptacles
  • Never modify appliance cords or plugs.
  • Extension cords are for temporary use. They are not intended to be a permanent source of electricity. By all means never use the light duty drop cords (usually 6 foot or less in length at an extended power source).
  • When using extension cords make sure the correct gauge cord to handle the amperage load. The small drop cords can easily overheat.
  • Do not place extension cords where they can be stepped on, driven over or other contact that may damage the cord.
  • Do not place extension cords under furniture, carpet or rugs.
  • Never modify an extension cord.
  • Discard and extension cord that shows signs of wear or damage.
  • Do not overload outlets.

Source: Alert-all Corporation and the Waycross Fire Department

Fire Safety Tips for Senior Citizens and those with Disabilities

People over the age of 65 are twice as likely to die or be injured in a fire as the population at large. By age 75 that risk increases to three times and by age 85, four times. The following are ways to help reduce these statistics.

  • Have a working smoke alarm on every level of the home.
  • If someone is hearing impaired make sure the smoke alarms use flashing lights or some other visual aid.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month. If unable to reach ask for help.
  • Replace all batteries at least once a year. The best way to remember to change the batteries is to change them whenever the time changes.
  • Have a new fire escape plan. If you are still using the escape plan that you used when the children were home it is time to come up with a new plan.
  1. You will still need two ways out of each room.
  2. Consider any limitations you may now have that would keep you from implementing your escape plan.
  3. Make sure to plan accordingly if any family member will need to assist you.
  4. Make sure that your exits are wheelchair or walker accessible, if necessary.
  5. Put your plan to the test and practice it.
  • The leading cause of fire deaths among Americans 65 and older is careless smoking.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Do not smoke if you are feeling drowsy, if you are drinking or if you have taken medication that will make you drowsy.
  • Use large deep ashtrays and never leave smoking materials unattended.
  • Empty your ashtrays frequently but never throw hot ashes in the garbage. Wet the contents of the ashtray and then dispose of them.

Source: Alert-all Corporation