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CANDLES:

  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other places where people may fall asleep.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
  • Use candleholders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down – put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Use flashlights or battery-powered lighting during a power outage.
  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
  • Teach children never to touch a burning candle.
  • Keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

FACTS:

  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.
  • Roughly 1/3 of all candle fires start in the bedroom.
  • More than one half of all candle fires start when something that is flammable is located too close to the candle.

COOKING SAFETY:

  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Turn off stove if you leave kitchen even for a short period of time.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, etc.) away from your stovetop.
  • Don’t use the stove or stovetop if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the stove and areas where hot food is being prepared or carried.

FACTS:

  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Most cooking fires in the home involve the stovetop.

HEATING SAFETY:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep container a safe distance away from your home.
  • TEST SMOKE ALARMS MONTHLY
  • INSTALL AND MAINTAIN CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS

SMOKE ALARMS:

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace ALL smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

IN CASE OF A FIRE:

  • Test doors with back of hand before opening.
  • Crawl low under smoke.
  • Have an evacuation plan and make sure all family members know it.
  • Have a predetermined meeting spot, outside your home.
  • Once out, STAY OUT. Never re-enter a burning home.

HOTEL FIRE SAFETY TIPS:

  • Choose a hotel/motel that is protected by both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system.
  • When you check in, ask the front desk what the fire alarm sounds like.
  • When you enter your room, review the escape plan posted in your room.
  • Take the time to find the exits and count the number of doors between your room and the exit. Make sure the exits are unlocked. If they are locked, report it to management right away.
  • Keep your room key by your bed and take it with you if there is a fire.
  • If the alarm sounds, leave right away, closing all doors behind you. Use the stairs — never use elevators during a fire.
  • If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.

If you can’t escape…

  • Shut off fans and air conditioners.
  • Stuff wet towels in the crack around the doors.
  • Call the fire department and let them know your location.
  • Wait at the window and signal with a flashlight or light colored cloth.

PREVENTING HOME BREAK-INS:

  • Create an illusion that someone is home when you leave the house. Turn on a light, television, or music, etc.
  • Secure sliding doors by wedging a dowel or piece of wood into the track.
  • Never leave a spare key where a burglar can easily find it. (Under a flowerpot, under the doormat, etc.)
  • Do not put personal identification on key rings
  • Keep landscaping trimmed to keep criminals from hiding in your yard. Also, consider planting “thorny” plants/bushes to inhibit intruders from accessing your home.
  • Install heavy-duty deadbolt locks.
  • Make sure your home is well lit at night and the address is visible from the street.
  • Get to know the people in your neighborhood.
  • If going on vacation make sure to cancel you newspaper and have someone collect your mail and packages.
  • During the winter have someone shovel your driveway. In the summer have someone mow your lawn.
  • Ask neighbors you trust to keep an eye on things when you are away.

FACTS:

  • Almost half of home break-ins happen without force which means people leave their homes without locking their doors or windows.
  • Most break-ins happen during the day when many people are at work. Deter criminals by making it look like someone is at home.
  • Residential crime spikes in July and August.

PREVENTING THEFTS FROM VEHICLES:

  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Never leave the area when your vehicle is running.
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Never leave keys in vehicle.

FACT:

  • Nearly half of vehicle thefts are due to driver error like leaving keys in the ignition or leaving doors unlocked.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER:

  • Keep your Firewall turned on.
  • Install or update your anti-virus software.
  • Install or update your antispyware technology.
  • Keep your operating system up to date. Updates often help fix security holes.
  • Be careful what you download. Don’t open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know.
  • Turn off your computer. Turning off your computer effectively severs an attacker’s connection.