Spring Fire Safety
It is that time of year again, time to change your clocks forward, and change the batteries in your smoke detectors!
The State Fire Marshal encourages Ohioans to make it a habit to change the batteries in their smoke detectors at least twice a year – at the beginning and end of daylight savings time.
The facts speak clearly – only a working smoke detector can save your life. By taking the time to change the batteries and by testing them monthly, you are doing more to affect the fire safety of your family and home than any other action you could take.
Firefighters still find that smoke detectors, which typically retail for less than $10, are often not present in homes or are not functional. Through March 1, 2011, 28 people have died in 22 fatal residential fires reported to the Division of State Fire Marshal. Smoke detectors were confirmed present in 10 (45%) of those fires and functioning in only 1 (5%) of the incidents.
Smoke detectors, when properly installed and maintained, provide early warning when fire occurs. For the greatest protection, install a smoke detector on every level of your home and inside each sleeping area.
Remember with the change in weather, the potential for sever weather conditions increases. The city of Medina tests the emergency siren 12:00 noon, on the first Saturday of every month. Be aware of current weather conditions and if an alert is issued take action! Follow these steps for safety:
- Watch for Developing Thunderstorms
- Seek shelter before an approaching thunderstorm -When thunder roars, go indoors!
- During lightning storms, avoid electronics, phones, pools, bathtubs and other plumbing
Tornado Safety Tips
Whether practicing in a tornado drill or sheltering during a warning, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourages Ohioans to DUCK!
D - Go DOWN to the lowest level
U - Get UNDER something
C - COVER your head
K - KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed
Remember, even though tornados are most likely to occur during spring and summer months, they can happen at any time of the year. Be aware and responsible for your safety!
- The safest place to be during a tornado is a basement. If the building has no basement or cellar, go to a small room (a bathroom or closet) on the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and as close to the center of the building as possible.
- Be aware of emergency shelter plans in stores, offices and schools. If no specific shelter has been identified, move to the building's lowest level. Try to avoid areas with large glass windows, large rooms and wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
- If you're outside or in mobile home, find shelter immediately by going to the lowest level of a nearby sturdy building. Sturdy buildings are the safest structures to be in when tornadoes threaten. Winds from tornadoes can blow large objects, including cars and mobile homes, hundreds of feet away.
- If you cannot quickly get to a shelter, get into your vehicle, buckle your seatbelt and try to drive to the nearest sturdy shelter.
- If you experience flying debris while driving, pull over and park. Choose to either stay in your vehicle, stay buckled up, duck down below the windows and cover your head with your hands, or find a depression or ditch, exit your vehicle and use your arms and hands to protect your head. Never seek shelter under highway overpasses and bridges.
When it's time for spring cleaning, remember a clean house is a safe house. Trash, boxes, piles of clothes and other combustibles in the home are fuel for a fire. Clean out storage areas such as garages, attics, closets, sheds, and basements on a regular basis. Don't allow areas in your home to become tempting fuel for a fire. Throw away or give away items you are no longer using. Clutter gives fire a place to start and creates obstacles that might prevent escaping safely.
When storing heating devices to be used again next winter, make sure electric cords are not frayed or separating. Remember to remove kerosene before storing your kerosene heater. Often overlooked is the electric blanket. Follow the washing, care and storage instructions that come with the blanket.
Oily rags can ignite without a heat source because they produce their own heat. Throw them out or store them in a closed metal container. This includes dusting rags used with a furniture polish or spray.