With National Fire Protection Association statistics indicating that nearly 85 percent of all U.S. fire deaths occur in the home, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Chief Fire Marshal Scott Tusa are reminding residents how to keep homes safe from fires this spring season.
“We want residents to have a safe and happy springtime with their families, so as you begin your spring cleaning, we urge everyone to please utilize these fire safety tips,” Mangano stated.
•Clean and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: According to the NFPA, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms, or no working smoke alarms. Test smoke alarms once a month, and replace them every 10 years.
•Use and store cleaning chemicals and supplies safely: Store all cleaning supplies in a safe space, away from any possible ignition sources
•Clean and inspect dryer vents and lint traps: The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is the failure to clean them. Clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry, and remove the lint that has collected around the drum. Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing.
•Clear clutter from basements and attics: Make sure the area around any furnaces, oil burners, wood stoves, or other heat-generating equipment is clear of debris, combustible materials, and rags.
•Check the gauge on all home fire extinguishers: Install fire extinguishers close to an exit, and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
•Dispense and store flammable liquids safely and properly: Do not use or store gasoline near possible ignition sources, such as devices containing a pilot flame or a spark. Store gasoline outside the home in a tightly closed metal or plastic container. Never store gasoline in glass containers or non-reusable plastic containers. Never operate a propane-powered gas grill inside the home, and have propane gas equipment inspected periodically by a professional for possible leaks or malfunctioning parts. If you smell a strong odor of gas, leave the area immediately and call the fire department from outside the home.
•Have a family home fire escape plan and practice it often: Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm.