Fire Prevention

The Building Log
By: C. LaBarbera
Building Official

During the month of October we observe Fire prevention throughout the country. In our own community during fire prevention month, our local fire departments open their doors to welcome our community’s children into their fire house’s.The firemen do a wonderful job explaining how the fire trucks and equipment work, and talking about fire safety. In our schools, the teachers teach the children about fire safety and what to do if there is a fire. The teachers also talk about things like crawling low in smoke, how smoke alarms save lives, not to play with lighters & matches, how to call for emergency assistance, and to stop drop and roll. All these individuals do a great job helping to promote fire safety in our community.

Now it’s our turn as parents to make sure our homes are fire safe. Do you have a wood burning stove, fireplace, or space heater? If so, make sure it’s in good working order in the beginning of every season and then keep the following precautions in mind:
• Burn only dry seasoned hardwood in wood stoves and fireplaces.
• Have your chimney inspected every year, check flues and dampers to be sure they’re in good working condition.
• Keep a fire screen in front of fireplaces
• Remember kerosene heaters are prohibited in New York State in all residences

What can you do to keep your furnace area safe from fire?
• Have your furnace regularly cleaned and maintained by a qualified service technician.
• Keep the area around your furnace clear from combustible material like newspapers & rags.
• Be sure all flammable material like paints are sealed in their proper container.
• Make sure you have a smoke alarm in the basement and a fire extinguisher.

Lastly, make sure all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order. New York State Law requires smoke alarms to be located in all sleeping rooms, and on every floor including the basement. Carbon monoxide alarms are required on every level that has bedrooms and shall be located within 15 feet of bedrooms. Did you know? Now is the time to change your batteries in your smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be cleaned by carefully vacuuming the inside with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Finally, after the new batteries are installed, test the unit by lighting a match and blowing it out by the smoke alarm, the alarm should activate.