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Fire Prevention - Public Education

With summer in our rearview mirror it is time to get our homes ready for cooler weather and the long winter and the snowy months ahead.

Along with the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the Savage Fire Department would like to remind everyone that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. This is due in part to an increase in cooking and heating fires. Holiday decorations and winter storms that can interrupt electrical service and cause people to turn to alternative heating sources also contribute to the increased risk of fire in winter.

Winter fires can be prevented! The following fire safety tips can help you maintain a fire-safe home this winter season.

  • Make sure the all of your fuel-fired appliances are in proper working order, a fuel-fired appliance that is not working properly may omit high levels of carbon monoxide (CO). This can included the furnace, water heater, gas fireplace, stove, and oven.
  • Make sure that you replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and CO alarms. When replacing the batteries make sure you vacuum or blow the dust out of each unit.
  • Smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old or CO alarms that are more than 7 years old should be replaced.
  • Battery operated candles are a safe alternative to open flame candles.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace make you that the chimney has been properly cleaned before using it and always burn clean dry wood.
  • Make sure you review your fire escape plan with your family, if you do not have one, then make sure your create on and practice it with the entire family.
  • If  you have a fire extinguisher make sure it is in working order and is located in an accessible location.
  • Never use an unvented fuel fired heater inside a dwelling unit.
  • Make sure that all portable heaters are UL approved and are in good working order. 

E-Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes have become a popular option for those that want to quit smoking, however like other electronic devices they can be a potential fire risk. We were recently called for a report of an explosion in a home; when we arrived there was no smoke or fire but we found that a hole had been burnt in the carpet. After investigating we found that an electronic cigarette was plugged into the wall charger, it had heated up and it exploded, the explosion shot the batteries approximately 8' across the room, the area of the burnt carpet, and the end of the cigarette was found another 5' from that. According to the MN State Fire Marshal's Office this was the third fire, in the state,  involving e-cigarettes, there has also been several other related fires reported around the US. There has also been a recall on brands that use EVOD batteries, the batteries in question were manufactured before June 24, 2013, there is a possibility that the battery can explode while being charged.

For additional information about the recall you can go to the following link;

http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/general-e-smoking-discussion/444286-evod-battery-recall.html

Change your Clock

CHANGE YOUR CLOCK CHANGE YOUR BATTERY

November 3rd marked the time to move your clocks back an hour, if you have not changed the batteries in your smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms now is a good time. We recommend changing the batteries at least once a year in each of the alarms. Along with changing the batteries it is a good idea to blowout or vacuum the dust from each of the units; the buildup of dust can cause them to go off randomly at anytime day or night

Child Car Seat Safety

As a parent you want to keep your child safe. Using the right car seat and making sure it is installed correctly can make that job a lot easier.

We are proud to offer our residents assistance with installing a car seat. If you are looking for help installing a car seat for the first time or just want to make sure that the current one is installed properly, we can help.

More information on child safety seats.

If you are interested in making an appointment, call John Babin during normal business hours at 952.882.2643.

Senior Fire Safety

Americans over the age of 65 have a fire death rate nearly twice the national average. For those over 75, this jumps to three times the national average. Whether living independently or in a care facility, there are steps seniors can take to remain safe from a fire.

Change Smoke Alarm Batteries:

  • Having a working smoke alarm can more than double your chances of surviving a fire. Make sure alarms are installed on each level of your home and outside all sleeping areas. If sleeping with bedroom doors closed, the smoke alarms should be installed within each room. Test each alarm monthly and replace the battery at least once a year. Adults who are deaf or hard of hearing should invest in visual aids such as alarms with strobe lights. Flashing or vibrating smoke alarms should also be tested every month.
Change or Update Escape Routes:
  • Many older adults are still using escape routes that were planned when the kids were in the house. Plan and practice your home fire escape. Consider your capabilities when preparing escape routes. Have two ways to get out of each room and if needed, make sure all exits are accessible for walkers or wheelchairs.
Change Unsafe Smoking Habits:
  • In 2012 careless smoking was once again the leading cause of fire deaths in Minnesota. Make sure that you are alert when you smoke and never smoke in bed. When you are finished smoking, soak the ashes in water before discarding them. Never leave smoking materials unattended, and collect them in large deep ashtrays.
Change Unsafe Cooking Habits:
  • Cooking fires are the leading cause of fire injuries among older adults. When using the stove, never leave cooking food unattended. If you need to step away, turn it off. Also, wear tight-fitting clothing when cooking over an open flame; a dangling sleeve can catch fire easily. Keep towels and potholders away from the flame.
Change Unsafe Heating Practices:
  • Install and maintain heating equipment correctly. Do not store newspapers, rags, or other combustible materials near a furnace, hot water heater, or space heater. Keep flammable materials, such as curtains or furniture, at least three feet from space heaters. Never use a stove as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.

Grease Fires

Grease fires can be very dangerous, especially in the kitchen. When a grease fire starts the initial reaction might be to throw water on it, that is one thing you DO NOT want to do! Putting water on a grease fire can cause an explosive force of steam that can blow the burning oil up and out causing devastating results.

Water, being heavier than oil, sinks to the bottom where it instantly becomes superheated, and as stated above, the explosive force of the steam blows the burning oil up and out. If this is done outside, with a turkey fryer for example, it can become a thirty foot high fireball. In the confines of the kitchen the fire ball hits the ceiling and can fill the entire room. Also, do not throw sugar or flour on a grease fire, one cup of either can create the explosive force of two stick of dynamite.

Here is what you should do.

  1. Cover the pot with a lid that fits properly. Make sure you slide the lid onto the pot rather than setting it on; sliding the lid will help protect your hand, wrist, and arm from getting burned.
  2. Turn the burner off
  3. Let it cool down 15 - 20 minutes
If you choose to use a fire extinguisher make sure you are at least 8 feet away, standing too close may cause the grease to splatter on your skin and clothes.

Another thing to note; be careful when you add food to hot oil or a deep fryer. If the oil is too hot, or there are pockets of hot liquid in the food, the hot oil can spray about.

Click Here to learn more about grease fire hazards.

Product Recalls

Do you have questions about product recalls?

Almost daily the Consumer Product Safety Commission posts a list of recalled items, ranging from children's toys that have lead paint to defective items. A list of the recalled items can be found at the CPSC website. The website features a list of recent recalls on their home page as when as a search feature to search for recalled items, you can search by manufacturer or item.

Interactive Games

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office has created some interactive games for kids of all ages. Learn about the different topics by clicking on one of the links below. Fire prevention is something that should be practiced by each member of your family. Test your fire safety knowledge by taking the Fire Marshal Challenge

Fire sprinkler systems are being installed in more and more homes these days. Take the Fire Sprinkler Challenge to learn more about residential fire sprinkler systems.

Learn how fires are investigated and how arson can affect everyone by taking the Arson Challange

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