With cooler weather approaching, Oklahoma City Fire Department officials remind its citizens that it’s time to think about fire safety in homes.
“The most important aspect of home fire safety is making sure that every home has a working smoke detector, and that these detectors are checked monthly and batteries are changed annually,” Deputy Chief Tony Young said.
Oklahoma City resident may call the fire department’s public education office at 297-3318 to request a free smoke detector battery, smoke detector and installation.
Young offered these tips:
— Dust and lint may have accumulated in the heater. Clean them thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner.
— Gas space heaters need to have the flame adjusted to blue in order to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide build up.
— Tell children to not stand close to a space heater to warm up because their clothes could catch fire.
— Give space heaters their space. Combustible materials should be at least three away from space heaters.
— Furnaces are safest when they are equipped with a thermostat and automatic shut off device.
— Clean floor furnaces by removing the grate and using a vacuum to remove dust and lint from inside the unit.
— Clean or replace the furnace filter.
— Clean the entire furnace area using a vacuum to remove dust and lint.
— Remove brooms, boxes, magazines, newspapers and other combustible material stored in heater closets.
— Inspect fireplaces and chimneys at least once a year. Look for cracks in the firebox, flue, and chimney. Check for soot and creosote build-up inside flues.
— Open the damper enough to allow the smoke and gases to escape up the chimney.
— Don’t start fires with gasoline, kerosene or other flammable liquid.
— Always keep a good-quality metal fireplace screen in front of fireplaces when it’s being used to prevent burning logs from rolling out or embers from flying out.
— Keep a three-foot area in front of and to the sides of fireplaces clear of any combustibles including, logs, kindling wood, paper, rugs, clothing, or furniture.
— Don’t leave fires unattended. Make sure fires are completely out before leaving your home or going to bed.
— Don’t burn charcoal in fireplaces. Charcoal gives off deadly carbon monoxide gas that can fill a room and overcome the occupants.
— Don’t cook using fireplaces. Grease from food can build up inside flues and catch fire.
— Don’t burn more than two or three natural logs at one time.
— Artificial logs made of compressed sawdust and wax should be handled differently than natural logs because they generate more heat. Burn only one artificial log at a time and don’t burn an artificial log with natural logs.
— Make sure fireplace ashes are placed in a metal container. Don’t put hot embers in a combustible container such as a trashcan. Allow ashes to cool thoroughly before disposing of them.