Fire Prevention & Home Safety

Barbecue Safety

 

Every spring and summer the FFD responds to several grill emergencies, and in 2008 a Fanwood home was severely damaged due to a grill fire.

Click the image on the right for important safety advice.  >>

 

Grills should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

 

At least once a year, gas tank hoses on propane grills should be checked for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, the grill should be serviced by a professional. If the leak doesn't stop, call the fire department.

 

If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

 

To see a video by Hannah Storm of ESPN who discusses her family's serious grill emergency, click here.

 

For an excellent FEMA video on grill safety,  click here.

 

The NFPA also has safety tips you can download here. 

Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

 

Faulty alarms are mainly due to missing, disconnected, or dead batteries. Replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries annually, and test your alarms monthly.


A good time to replace batteries is when turning your clocks ahead for daylight saving time.

Power Strips

 

ROUTINELY INSPECT POWER STRIPS AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT OVERLOADED!!!

 

Last year a Fanwood home suffered extensive damage due to a fire whose cause was suspected to be an overloaded power strip.

 

The above right photo shows another power strip that was obviously overloaded and minutes or even seconds from causing a tragedy.

 

Every year, thousands of fires result from surge protectors, power strips and electrical cords.  Use only surge protectors or power strips that have an internal circuit breaker.  These units should trip the breaker if the power strip is overloaded or shorted to prevent overheating.  If at any time a surge protector or power strip is hot to the touch, remove and replace the unit.

 

Surge protectors, power strips or extension cords are NOT a substitute for permanent wiring!!!  Also, do not plug theses devices into an existing surge protector, power strip or extension cord!!!

Generators

 

Never use generators indoors or in a garage, you can be overcome by carbon monoxide.

Place them outside in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home.

Click here for advice from the Consumer Energy Center.

Candles

 

People may be surprised to learn that candles are a large cause of home fires. Never let them burn unattended. Candles can easily ignite combustible items that are too close to them.

 

The American Red Cross has statistics about candle fires and safety advice here.

Sump Pumps

 

Sump pumps remove accumulated water from a sump pit.  They are usually installed in basements where a majority of flooding can occur.  They are also used to decrease dampness by lowering the water table under a foundation, sending water away from a house to any place where it is no longer problematic.

 

Sump pumps should be examined each year, but pumps running frequently due to a higher water table, poor water drainage, or harsher weather conditions should be examined more frequently.  Sump pumps, being highly mechanical, will fail eventually, which could lead to a flooded basement requiring costly repairs.

 

When cleaning a sump pump, dirt, gravel, sand, and other debris should be removed to increase efficiency and extend the life of the pump.  These obstructions can also decrease the pump's ability to drain the sump and allow the sump to overflow.  The check valve can also jam from the debris.