Fire Safety Tips
To avoid common situations and costly fire mistakes, read the following safety tips:
- Inside the Home
- Flammable Materials in the Home
- Indoor Cooking
- In the Garage or Shed
- Outside and Around the Yard
- Outdoor Fireplaces
- Outdoor Cooking
- Pools and Swimming
- Education Materials
- Check and clean your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Check for overloaded or damaged extension cords
- Check your fire extinguishers
- Have your air conditioner cleaned and checked
- Practice exit drills with your family so everyone knows what to do in any emergency
- Prepare for storm related outages
- Properly store household chemicals and never mix cleaning agents
Flammable materials can easily ignite when they come in contact with fire or high temperatures. That's why it's essential to know how to properly store and dispose of them when you are done using them.
Some common flammable materials in the household include:
- Aerosol cans
- Automotive products (antifreeze, brake fluids, oils, etc.)
- Hand sanitizer
- Paint thinner
- Pool cleaning chemicals
Chesterfield Fire and EMS recommends storing all flammable liquids in a shed completely separate from the house and attached garage. This includes products like gasoline, oil, paint, and paint thinner.
- Make sure to store your flammable substances in a safe place in order to reduce the risk of potential fire hazards.
- The best place to keep your combustible materials is in a cool, dry area.
Chesterfield offers free disposal services for a variety of household hazardous wastes at its convenience centers. Hazardous materials like oil-based paints, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, cleaners, automotive fluids and batteries. You can properly dispose of these materials at the Northern Area Convenience Center, 3200 Warbro Road, and the Southern Area Convenience Center, 6700 Landfill Road.
- Don’t leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, turn the stove off and move the pot or pan to a cool burner and resume cooking later.
- If you allow unsupervised children to cook, be sure that they are aware of the consequences of unattended cooking.
- It is best not to encourage cooking without the presence of an adult or older sibling. “Safe snacks” not requiring cooking are always an alternative.
- Since the holidays generally bring extra people into the house, be cautious of young children getting in the way while the stove is in use.
- If a fire occurs while cooking with oil, use a fire extinguisher, (always have one handy in the kitchen).
- A pan lid or cookie sheet will also help.
- Do not pick up a burning pan with the idea of tossing it into the sink or out in the yard.
- Serious burns to one’s face and hands could be the result.
- You may also end up spreading the fire.
- Water, baking powder and flour should never be used to extinguish a grease fire due to the possibility of increasing the intensity of the fire.
- Have plenty of working smoke alarms in your home.
- Practice home fire drills and let guests be aware of escape routes.
- Items like pot holders, dish towels, etc., should be placed away from the stove.
- Check fuel containers for leaks and properly store them
- Clean up and properly store paints and pool and yard chemicals
- Have all power equipment cleaned, serviced and readied for use
- Make sure your address numbers are up and visible from the street
- Clean up yard debris, cut back dead limbs and grasses
- Maintain a clear ‘fire zone’ of 10 feet around structures, clean up leaves and debris and consider using stone or other non-combustible mulches
- Check outdoor electrical outlets and other electrical appliances
- Get your grill cleaned and serviced, check all propane tanks and lines for leaks and damage
- Keep 100 feet of garden hose with and nozzle connected and ready for use
- Outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and chimneys are becoming increasingly popular. When used safely and within manufacturer’s guidelines, they can be very enjoyable. Please be aware of the following guidelines when using one of these devices.
- They must not be used on apartment balconies.
- They must be located at least 10 feet from any structure or combustible material
- The fire must be constantly monitored until extinguished.
- Fire extinguishing equipment must be available.
- A protective screen shall be in place to prevent scattering of sparks.
- Only clean, dry firewood shall be used for fuel.
- Everyone enjoys the time we spend around our barbecues and grills with our families and friends. They are a big part of our summer. To ensure that these times remain enjoyable, please observe the following tips:
- No grills may be placed or used on apartment balconies.
- Grills must be located at least 10 feet from any structure or combustible material.
- Never use a grill inside a closed space. They produce large quantities of carbon monoxide, a poison invisible and odorless gas that can rapidly cause death or serious illness.
- Make sure that your grill is level and steady.
- Grills must be constantly monitored until extinguished and cold.
- The safest means of lighting a grill are cake-formed chemicals or an electric starter.
- Never add liquid fire starter to hot coals. Heat from the coals could cause the starter to ignite, resulting in serious burns.
- Keep a hose or fire extinguisher close by.
- Keep small children and pets away from your grill.
- When finished cooking, soak the coals in water. Dispose of them in a sealed metal container outside the home. Do not store them on a wooden deck. Many fires start from ashes that are improperly disposed of.
No fireworks that produce heat or require any ignition source are legal within the County of Chesterfield. Please take advantage of the many public displays scheduled for the summer so that we can enjoy fireworks safely and without risk of fire or injury.
There's nothing like a dip in the pool to cool off during the summer months. To avoid injuries during this pleasant pastime, please review the following tips:
- Place a fence around your pool or spa. The fence should be at least 5 feet high and the gate through the fence should automatically latch. Never block the gate open.
- Lock the gate when not using the pool area.
- Do not leave furniture or other items near the pool that a child can climb on to enter the pool.
- Whenever children are near the water, ensure that an adult is present, watching carefully. Do not let distractions interfere with watching.
- If you have non-swimmers in the home, enroll them in an approved swimming program taught by a qualified instructor.
- Never swim alone. Even adults should ensure that someone knows they are in the pool.
- Learn First Aid and CPR. Ensure anyone who has "pool duty" is qualified to provide aid if it becomes necessary.
- Keep rescue equipment, such as a ring buoy and a rescue pole, near the pool.
- Also, have a cordless or cellular phone present when the pool is in use.
- Post emergency numbers and CPR instructions near the pool.
- Advise everyone, especially children, where the pump suctions are located and to remain clear of them. Small children becoming trapped by pool suctions under the water cause several drowning’s each year.
- Use plastic instead of glassware in pool areas to prevent cuts. Broken glass in the pool can be almost invisible resulting in risk of cuts.
- Consider purchasing a pool alarm to let you know if someone falls into the pool. Subsurface alarms are more effective than surface alarms and cause fewer false alarms.
- Keep spas and hot tubs covered when not in use. This helps keep them clean and hot as well as reducing the chance that children can fall in. Completely remove covers before anyone enters the spa or tub.
- We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy summer season. A few precautions taken now can reduce the possibility of accidents or injuries, resulting in a better time for us all.