It’s hard to believe that summertime is coming to a close. The days are getting shorter and there will soon be a chill in the air! In this issue of Safety Lines, we will be reminding you how to keep your family safe from fire and burns when preparing for fall clean-up, heating your home, and participating in fun fall activities!
HEATING YOUR HOME
No matter what type of device or system you use to heat your home, making sure it is in good working order is an important part of keeping your family safe!
• Get your central heating system cleaned, inspected and serviced by a certified HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) contractor every year before using it
• If your home has a fossil fuel burning heater or appliances, a fireplace, or an attached garage, make sure you have adequate and functioning carbon monoxide alarms. (For more information on carbon monoxide, please visit http://www.burnprevention.org/hot-spots-fact-sheets.)
• If you have a fireplace in your home, be sure to have it inspected each year to ensure that it is safe.
• Use fireplace screens to keep sparks and debris inside the fireplace and to keep little ones from touching the glass window of gas fireplaces.
BURNING YARD WASTE
It is so important to closely supervise your children when you are involved in Fall projects, especially those involving fire or poisonous products. Make sure that you check with your municipality to see if you are allowed to burn backyard waste.
If it is permitted:
• Only burn dried yard waste when there is NO WIND.
• Keep a hose nearby and turned on.
• Keep a rake handy to collect stray leaves and return them to the pile.
• Burn away from buildings, trees, and shrubbery.
• Never use an accelerant such as gasoline or kerosene to ignite yard waste.
• Keep children and pets away when burning yard waste.
• Clear your roof and gutters of unnecessary
When you think of Halloween, one of the first things that probably enters your mind is carving Jack-O-Lanterns! It’s important to supervise children while carving, but you must also exercise caution when lighting them up!
• Only adults should use matches or lighters to light the candle inside the pumpkin. Store matches and lighters out of reach of children.
• Make sure the candle is securely anchored inside the pumpkin.
• Consider carving the pumpkin from the bottom instead of the top. This makes it easier to level the pumpkin, and it can be placed over a candle that is in a safe container.
• Make sure you light the pumpkin with a long fireplace match or a BBQ lighter to prevent burning your hand.
• The SAFEST way to light your pumpkin is with LED candles, a small flashlight, or an electric window candle!