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Article Archive >> Community

Fire Safety Tips During Power Failures

Fire Safety Tips During Power Failures

When your power is out, you may be introducing potential hazards to your home. Please review the following tips and take extra precautions to make sure that everyone stays safe. If you have any questions, contact the Hagerstown Fire Department at 301-791-2544.
Candle Caution
_ Use flashlights whenever possible. If you must use candles, take extreme care.
_ Candles should be placed in secure candleholders, protected by a glass chimney.
_ Keep candles away from any combustible materials.
_ Place candles out of reach of children or pets.
_ Extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
_ Avoid using candles in bedrooms and never leave candles unattended.
Matches and Lighters
_ Keep all matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
Shut Your Stove Off
_ Make sure that all stove elements and ovens are OFF and that nothing has been left on top of the stove.
Electrical Generators
_ Portable generators should be carefully placed outside to ensure that fumes do not enter the home. Install a battery powered CO detector in your home.
_ Generators and hot exhaust gases should be kept away from combustibles.
_ Store fuel for the generator outside the home. Keep the fuel in an approved container a safe distance away from your home and generator.
_ Refuel the generator only after shutting it down and letting it cool. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding use.
Camp Stoves and Barbecues
Do not use camp stoves or barbecues indoors. Camp stoves that use small propane canisters are safer than camp stoves that use liquid fuel (there are also camp stoves that burn wood or charcoal briquettes). Small propane canisters for camp stoves should be stored in an outside shed and not in the garage. Unscrew the canister after each use and do not leave connected. For 5-gallon propane canisters such as for barbecues, the valve on top of the canister should be shut off after each use. Five-gallon canisters can leak, so do not refill. Get a new canister instead. Propane canisters have a shelf life of up to 2 years. Check all canisters regularly for rust.
Kerosene Heaters
If used, it is important to follow all manufacturer instructions. They should be used only in very well ventilated areas and not near combustible materials. Have a battery operated carbon monoxide detector and an ABC fire extinguisher nearby.
Smoke Alarms
_ Smoke alarms electrically connected to your home's AC power supply will not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-ups. Find out what type of alarms you have in your home and ensure you are protected by battery operated smoke alarms in the event of a power failure. Test all smoke alarms now.
Plan Your Escape
_ Ensure everyone in the home knows what to do in case of fire. Who is going to look after the children or older adults?
Where do you want everyone to meet outside the home? Call 911 from a neighbor's home. Everyone should have at least one phone (not cordless) that works during a power failure
[Distributed by the Hagerstown Fire Department]

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