Fire Prevention - Public Education

Well looked what showed up even earlier this year! If you are a snowmobiler or skier your probably happy!

With the arrival of the cold weather again we all need to pay some extra attention to fire safety in our homes. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) there is an increased risk of fire in the home during the winter months, half of the home fires occur in the months of December, January, and February.

To learn more click below

Winter Fire Safety

Here are a few tips to help keep your home safe:

Heating Equipment:

  • Heating equipment is involved in 1 in every 6 reported home fires and 1 in every 5 home fire deaths.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3' away from any heat source.
  • Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents each year.
  • Burn only well seasoned and dry wood in the fire place.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container at least 10' from your home and other buildings.
  • Plug in only 1 heat producing appliance, such as a space heater, into an electrical outlet.

 Other tips:

  • Be sure to test your smoke and Carbon Monoxide  (CO) alarms; replace smoke alarms that are more than 10-years old and CO alarms that more than 7-years old.
  • Make sure you have a CO alarm on each floor of your home, outside the sleeping area's is recommended.
  • Be sure to change the furnace filter as needed.
  • Clean the dry filter after each use and the vent at least once a year or as needed.
  • Be sure to shovel out the fire hydrant near your home, even if it is not in your yard, that same hydrant might be needed for your home.
  • Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher in your home that is in an easily accessible location.

 Holiday Safety:

  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • If you prefer a real tree choose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Make sure the tree is at least 3' away from any heat source, like candles, fire places, space heaters, radiators, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking any exits.
  • Add water to the tree daily.

Change your Clock


November 2nd 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 2013 careless smoking was one of 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