Tuesday, November 1, 2016


 Statewide (November 1, 2016) – Three tragic home fires occurred over the weekend that claimed the lives of five Marylanders, proving the need to be ever vigiliant when practicing fire safety in our own homes.  As the fall season becomes colder, State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci offers Marylanders a valuable fire prevention safety checklist to help stop fires before they occur inside the home. “By working together, we can help prevent fires in the home,” stated State Fire Marshal Geraci. “All Marylanders deserve the safety and security of a good home fire prevention program.”  Please take the time to review the following list and properly address any potential issues immediately when found.
  •    Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home.  Test and vacuum monthly.      Change batteries every year.  Replace smoke alarms after every ten years.
  •    Keep bedroom doors closed when sleeping.  If a fire occurs elsewhere in the home, the            closed door will provide additional time to escape by blocking heat, smoke and toxic gases.
  •    If smoking materials are used, please use a deep ashtray and smoke outdoors.  Always          ensure smoking materials are completely extinguished when finished.
  •    Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of children.  Instruct children to alert an adult if        they locate matches or lighters and not to touch them.
  •    Never leave a burning candle unattended. Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping          areas. Extinguish candles when you leave a room. Keep children and pets away from              burning candles.  Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell,    and feel like real candles.
  •    Replace frayed, cracked or otherwise damaged electrical cords.
  •    Limit use of extension cords and don’t overload electrical circuits.
  •    Never run electrical cords under carpet or rugs.
  •    Keep the stovetop clean and remove any combustible items on or near the stove area.
  •    Never leave cooking food unattended.  Turn off the stove if you need to leave the room.
  •    Have chimneys cleaned and inspected before use.
  •    Never use an accelerant in a fireplace or woodstove.
  •    Burn only seasoned, dry wood to help prevent creosote build-up in chimneys and                    woodstoves.
  •    Keep combustibles three feet away from all heating appliances, woodstoves and fireplaces.
  •    Portable space heaters must be plugged directly into an outlet.  Never use an extension cord    or multiple plug power strips as they may overheat and cause a fire.
  •    Have your furnace checked and cleaned for proper operation.
  •    Check the clothes dryer exhaust duct and ensure lint build-up is removed.  Replace the duct    with non-combustible ducting where applicable.
  •    Vacuum bathroom exhaust fans to eliminate dust build-up on the motor and fan blades.
  •    Keep flammable liquids in tightly sealed containers and store away from sources of heat.
  •    Plan and practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year.  Know two ways out of        every room.  Have a predetermined meeting location outside.  Get out and stay out!
  •    If a fire occurs inside your home, close doors as you escape to help contain the fire.
    ***As a reminder: A new law became effective on July 1, 2013 involving “battery only” smoke alarms used in Maryland residential properties.  When these “battery only” smoke alarms have reached their 10-year life span, they need to be replaced with new long-life sealed lithium battery smoke alarms with silence/hush button features.  The silence/hush button feature temporarily disables the alarm so the occupant can ventilate the space from mild smoke conditions typically created during some cooking operations.  The use of these alarms eliminates the need to replace the batteries during the 10 year life of the alarm.
            The new law also requires homeowners to ensure they have a smoke alarm installed on each floor and outside each sleeping area, per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommendations.
            If your property is protected with 120 volt electric smoke alarms, they also should be replaced every 10 years with new 120 volt smoke alarms w/ battery back-up to ensure proper and timely operation in the event of a fire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent reminders, thanks for posting JT!!!!!