Fire Prevention Tips
Tips from the Chief
Read the Fire Safety Tips from the Chief (PDF) letter.
The Hamden Department of Fire and Emergency Services advise the people of Hamden to follow the following safety measures mentioned by the Home Safety Council and the U.S. Fire Administration. These actions will reduce the chance of a fire to ignite in your home.
Follow these tips for candle burning safety:
- Candle holders should always be stable and be made from material that won't catch on fire, such as metal, glass, etc.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. Children should not be allowed to keep candles or incense in their rooms.
- When adults leave the room, remember to blow out candles.
It's a recipe for serious injury or even death to wear loose clothing (especially hanging sleeves), walk away from a cooking pot on the stove, or leave flammable materials, such as potholders or paper towels, around the stove. Whether you are cooking the family holiday dinner or a snack for the children take precaution and remember the fire safety tips listed:
- Always remain in the kitchen while cooking.
- Do not leave barbecue grills unattended while in use. Keep grills at least three feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.
- Keep items which can burn, such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, and curtains at least three feet away from the range top.
- Roll up sleeves before cooking and use oven mitts. Loose fitting clothes can touch a hot burner and catch on fire as a result.
According to U.S. Fire Administration, many families gather in the kitchen to spend time together, but it can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the house if you don't practice safe cooking behaviors. Cooking is the third leading cause of fire deaths and the leading cause of injury among people ages 65 and older.
Keeping the family safe at home:
- Have a fire escape plan with your family. Find two exits out of every room. Choose a meeting place or area outside. Hold a family drill at least twice a year- practice makes perfect.
- If there is a fire in your home, once you get out, stay out.
- Know how to put out a small pan fire by sliding a lid over the flames.
- Learn how and when to use a fire extinguisher. Consider having a home fire sprinkler system intalled in a new or remodeled home.
- Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home. They should be put inside or near every bedroom. Test the smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work properly and put in new batteries once a year.
- Teach every family member to "Stop, Drop and Roll" if clothes catch on fire.
Prevention of fire caused by gasoline and other products:
- Always close the lid on dangerous products and put them away after use.
- Do not bring or use gasoline indoors. Use gasloine as a motor fuel only.
- Do not plug in too many appliances at once.
- Keep gasoline stored in a garage or shed in a container approved for gasoline storage.
- Store dangerous products away from the home and in a safe place with a lock.
- Keep items that can burn away from your fireplace. Also, keep a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace.
- Keep matches and lighters stored in a locked cabinet.
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from things that can burn, for example, curtains or stacks of paper. When leaving a room or going to bed always turn off the heaters.
- Once a year, have a service person inspect chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves and central furnaces. Have these items cleaned when necessary.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the high cost of home heating fuels and utilities have caused many Americans to search for alternate sources of home heating. The use of wood burning stoves is growing and space heaters are selling rapidly, or coming out of storage. Fireplaces are burning wood and man made logs. All these methods of heating may be acceptable.
They are however, a major contributing factor in residential fires. Many of these fires can be prevented. You can prevent the loss of life and property resulting from heating fires by being able to identify potential hazards and following the safety tips contained in the Fire Place and Home Fire Safety Fact Sheet (PDF).
Prevention of fires caused by smoking:
- Always smoke outside and use "fire-safe" cigarettes.
- Extinguish cigarette and cigar butts under water before throwing them in the trash.
- When using ashtrays, keep them on a sturdy surface such as a table. Use large, deep ashtrays.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, when a member of your community is killed in a home fire, it is important to let others know how they can prevent a similar tragedy. As you continue to report on the fire, the U.S. Fire Administration encourages you to remind your audience that many fire deaths and injuries are preventable.
More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and more than 20,000 are injured. Many of them might be alive today if they had only had the information they needed to avoid a disaster. The provided life-saving tips could make a big difference to your audience. By incorporating them in your story now, while the moment is still fresh, you could help save a life.
Did You Know
- Careless smoking is the second leading cause of fire deaths.
- Deaths due to fires caused by careless smoking are particularly preventable.
- Eighty-two % of all fire deaths occur in the home.
- Having a working smoke alarm reduces one's chance of dying in a fire by nearly a half.
View the fact sheet regarding Careless Smoking and Fire Safety (PDF).