Keep warm, stay safe
With the recent dip into sub-zero temperatures, it’s the time of year to inspect your heating sources and ensure your smoke detectors are in working order.
The Municipality of Anchorage has some tips to help Alaskans stay warm and safe through the long, cold winter we have ahead of us. Here’s some rules to follow provided on the Muni’s website (www.muni.org/departments/fire/prevention/pages/firepreventionmonth.aspx):
• Assure there are working smoke detectors on every level of the home, especially outside sleeping areas.
• Install carbon monoxide detectors with proper placement to reduce false alarm responses.
• Inspect barbeques and deep fat fryers.
• Fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned annually.
Here’s some more tips provided by the Anchorage Fire Department (www.muni.org/Departments/Fire/PublicAffairs/Pages/avoidfire.aspx) on how to prevent a fire:
• Never leave matches or lighters where children can get them. That means even in cabinets above the refrigerator.
• Never leave your stove unattended when cooking.
• When done smoking, dip the cigarette in water and discard in a noncombustible container with a tight lid. Not in a flowerpot.
• Always turn your portable heaters off when going to bed, and make sure they are at least 18 inches from anything that will burn.
• Never, ever, heat your home with a stove or oven.
• Use extension cords as temporary devices, and check them for wear and tear. Don’t put them under rugs or furniture legs. Don’t run them out through the doors or windows where they can be pinched.
Here’s what AFD recommends to prepare for a fire:
• Test your smoke detectors monthly. (Your landlord is only responsible for providing you with the detectors. YOU are responsible for maintaining them).
• Practice fire escape drills at least twice a year in the middle of the night.
• Teach your children two ways out of each room.
• Children do not wake up to smoke detectors.
• Think about having two kinds of detectors in your home, both ionization and photoelectric. Ionization reacts faster to flaming fires while photoelectric react faster to smoldering fires.
• Have a currently serviced fire extinguisher in your home that is easily accessible and know how to use it.
• When cooking on the stove, have a lid sized for the pan you are using handy to smother the fire if the oil ignites. Don’t use water to put out a grease fire, smother it instead.
• Practice evacuating your apartment blindfolded. Try getting out of the building. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke generated by a fire will most likely make it impossible to see.
• Practice with all your family getting up to the fire alarm and crawling low under the smoke.
• Show your children how to test the door before opening it. If the door is hot or smoke comes in when you open it, use your other escape route.
• Practice using alternate escape routes.
Use these tips to keep warm this winter and also stay safe.