After an early morning fire claimed the lives of five people Dec. 14, DeKalb County Fire Rescue officials offer the following fire safety tips for residences.
“The No. 1 defense from a fire that occurs in your home will be an operating smoke alarm,” DeKalb County Fire Chief Darnell Fullum said.
Other tips include:
- Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Never leave cooking food unattended and make sure to follow these tips while cooking:
- Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking.
- Establish a “kid-free zone” of three feet around your stove.
- Keep the area around your stove clear of towels, paper, and anything else that can easily burn or catch fire.
- Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there is no accumulation of food items or grease which increase flammability.
- Use a lid or baking soda to smother a pan fire.
- Exercise safety and use proper ventilation when operating alternative heat sources, such as fireplaces, and electric heaters.
- Do not use an oven as a heat source.
- Do not bring grills, generators, kerosene heaters, and other outside heating devices inside to heat a home, as they emit poisonous carbon monoxide.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater
- Only use one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc.) plugged into a receptacle outlet at a time.
- Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
- Major appliances (refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and plug strips should not be used.
- Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use. Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets so you don’t have to use extension cords.
- Place heaters on a solid, flat surface.
- Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
For more information on fire prevention, visit the following:
- Heating: www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/Heating_Safety.ashx
- Electrical: www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/Electrical_Safety_Tips.ashx
- Portable Space Heaters: www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/PortableHeaterSafety.ashx
- Smoke alarms: www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/public-education/resources/safety-tip-sheets/smokealarms.pdf