Before you get to this years blog about Halloween and Fall Fire Safety you might want to check out the previous posts for the archives.
This years theam for Fire Prevention Week (October8-14) is Have 2 Ways Out. Although this is specifically talking about home/building evacuations I believe it should also include knowing 2 ways out of your community/subdivision should there be an emergency like a wildfire , hurricane or tornado that might block your usual way out. Below is a coloring sheet I developed for your to talk with your children about while planning for your family's safety.
Time Changes Mean Battery ChangesGet in the habit of changing the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors every fall and spring when changing the clocks for Daylight Savings Time. It is also a good idea to make it standard procedure in your household to verify that all fire extinguishers are fully charged and in working order when you adjust the clocks each season.
Home Heating TipsNo matter what type of device you use to heat your home, making sure your heating devices and/or systems are in good working order is an important part of learning some fall fire safety tips. Many things can go wrong with heating equipment during the spring and summer months. Verify that everything you need to keep your home warm throughout fall and winter is in good working order before you experience the first cold snap of the season.
Central Heating System Safety Tips
- Get your central heating system cleaned, inspected and serviced by a certified HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) contractor every year before using it.
- If you have a gas heater, make sure that you have a sufficient quantity of fully functioning carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home.
Space Heater Safety Tips
- Make sure that any space heaters are surrounded by at least three feet of empty space.
- Never place clothing or any other objects on a space heater to dry.
- Do not place space heaters near furniture or drapery.
- Turn space heaters off when you leave the house or go to bed.
- Avoid storing any combustible items near heaters.
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Fireplace Safety Tips
- Get your chimney inspected each year to make sure that it is safe.
- Hire a chimney sweep to clean out your chimney every fall.
- Repair any cracks in fireplaces.
- Use fireplace screens to keep sparks and fire debris inside the fireplace.
- Do not every use gasoline to start a fire in the fireplace.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure that combustible materials are not stored within three feet of your fireplace.
- For natural gas fireplaces, get all connections and lines inspected before use each season.
- Remember that outdoor fireplaces can be just as dangerous as indoor units, and observe all safety precautions when using them.
Fire Safety Tips for Holiday Decorations
- Do not use candles in Halloween jack-o-lanterns. Flashlights are much safer.
- Make sure that children's costumes are made with fire retardant materials.
- Use only fire retardant holiday decorations.
- Verify that all holiday lights and extension cords have been tested by an organization such as Factory Mutual or Underwriters Laboratory.
Family Fire Safety Tips
- Teach your kids how to respond in the event of a fire.
- Make sure young children know how to dial 911.
- Establish and practice a fire escape plan with your family that includes a designated meeting area outside the home.
- Practice stop, drop and roll with your children so they learn how to escape beneath a fire.
- Teach everyone in your family multiple ways to escape from every room in the event of a fire.
- Make sure that there is a sufficient quantity of smoke detectors in your home.
- Verify each month that smoke detectors are in working order.
- Make sure everyone in your family knows how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Do not place lit candles where they can be reached by children.
- Never leave burning candles unattended.
- Do not leave candles burning when you go to sleep.
- Don't leave cooking food unattended on the stove.
- Keep everything that might be flammable away from your stove.
- Make sure all flammable substances are properly stored in safe containers and out of reach of youngsters.
Outdoor Fall Fire Safety Tips
- Clear your roof and gutters of unnecessary build up of debris, such as pine needles and leaves.
- Learn the outdoor burning regulations in your area, and do not engage in illegal burning of leaves and other outdoor debris.
Safety MattersThere is nothing more important than the safety of your family. Everyone in your home needs to know how to behave responsibly to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a fire. However, because fires can start at any time without warning, it is also very important that the members of your household know how to react in the event of a fire. It's a good idea to review fire prevention and safety tips with your family every fall, and several other times throughout the year.
When purchasing a Halloween costume, make sure the label reads "Flame Resistant."Halloween is a fun holiday but it’s also an important time to practice fire safety. The occurrence of fire increases around Halloween due to arson and the use of candles as decorations. Follow these tips for a happy and fire-safe Halloween:
- If you buy a costume, make sure the label says “Flame Resistant.” Flame Resistant means the costume will be hard to catch on fire and if it does, the fire will go out fast.
- If you make a costume, try not to make one that is big and baggy so that the material doesn’t touch candles or other flames. Use flame-resistant fabrics, such as polyester and nylon. These materials will resist burning if exposed to a flame.
- Tell kids to stay away from candles and jack-o'-lanterns that may be on steps and porches. Their costumes could catch fire if they get too close.
- Kids should never carry candles when they are trick-or-treating. Always use a flashlight, flameless candle, or light stick.
- Tell kids to let you know right away if they see other kids playing with matches or lighters.
- Don’t use candles for decorations. They’re dangerous, especially when left unattended.
- Use only decorative lights tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw away damaged sets. Don't overload extension cords.
- Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for the latest on Halloween-related consumer product recalls.
- If you have a Halloween party, check for cigarettes under furniture cushions and in areas where people were smoking before you go to bed.
- Remove any materials around your home or property, such as garbage or excess vegetation, which an arsonist could use to start a fire.