SPRING & SUMMER FIRE SAFETY
Wildland Fire Safety
Wildland fires are a serious threat to lives and property in the U.S. The combination of drought, warmer temperatures, high winds and an excess of dried vegetation in forests and grasslands has made fire seasons progressively worse over the past 50 years. In the past decade, wildfires have burned over 60 million acres of these lands. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), 2012 saw one of the worst fire seasons in decades, with over nine million acres burned.
NFPA President Jim Pauley talks about the wildfire problem and what is being done to combat it. To learn more, read Pauley's First Word column in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal.
Facts and figures
GRILLING FIRE SAFETY
Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
Grilling facts from NFPA
Be sure to use safe grilling practices as the peak months for grilling fires approach – June and July. Gas grills constitute a higher risk, having been involved in an annual average of 7,200 home fires in 2007-2011, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,400 home fires.
Facts & figures
Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment," by Marty Ahrens, November 2013.
Fires started by lightning peak in the summer months and in the late afternoon and early evening.
Facts & figures
Source: NFPA's "Lightning Fires and Lightning Strikes" report by Ben Evarts, December 2010
Summer is the peak time of the year for lightning strikes and lightning fires. However, lightning does occur year round. It’s important to be prepared for this dangerous weather phenomenon. Outdoor safety
Each year in America, more than 150 people die from accidental non-fire related carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning associated with consumer products. These products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces. Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Understanding the Risk
What is carbon monoxide?
CO, often called "the silent killer," is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fossil fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane or wood do not burn properly.
Where does carbon monoxide come from?
CO poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or cars left running in garages.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Exposure to undetected high levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal.
CO Alarm Installation:
· Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.
· CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, have CO alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
· Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
· Combination smoke-CO alarms must be installed in accordance with requirements for smoke alarms.
· CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms and vice versa. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and the sound of CO alarms.
CO Alarms: Testing and Replacement
· Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace them if they fail to respond correctly when tested. The sensors in CO alarms have a limited life. Replace the CO alarm according to manufacturer’s instructions or when the end-of-life signal sounds.
· Know the difference between the sound of the CO alarm and the smoke alarm, and their low-battery signals. If the audible low battery signal sounds, replace the batteries or replace the device. If the CO alarm still sounds, get to a fresh air location and call 9-1-1 or the fire department.
· To keep CO alarms working well, follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
· Have fuel-burning heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, wood stoves, coal stoves, space heaters and portable heaters) and chimneys inspected by a professional every year.
· Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace.
· Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home. The CO gas might kill people and pets.
· When purchasing new heating and cooking equipment, select products tested and labeled by a recognized testing laboratory.
· Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
· If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice or other materials. The CO gas might kill people and pets.
· Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
· Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
· Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.
If Your CO Alarm Sounds:
· Immediately move to a fresh air location (outdoors or by an open window or door). Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for.
· Call 9-1-1 or the fire department from a fresh air location (outdoors or by an open window). Remain at a fresh air location until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
FIRE SAFETY LINKS
Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.
Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility ...Fire is Everyone’s Fight!
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COME TO THE FIRE STATION TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FIRE SAFETY,
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US AT 724-258-5240 WITH YOUR NAME AND NUMBER SO WE CAN SET UP A TOUR.
WE ALSO GIVE TOURS AND FIRE SAFETY EDUCATION LESSONS TO GROUPS SUCH AS BOY SCOUTS, GIRL SCOUTS, YOUTH GROUPS ETC.
Emergency: 9-1-13325 Rainbow Run Rd.Monongahela, Pa. 15063