Fire Prevention & Home Safety

Space Heaters


These devices can be dangerous! See the image and links below for important information.


NJ Division of Fire Safety - Space Heaters
Adobe Acrobat Document [538.8 KB]
NJ Consumer Affairs - Space Heaters
Adobe Acrobat Document [1.0 MB]

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




Fanwood firefighters recently responded to a report of smoke filling a residence.  The culprit was a power strip (see photo) that overheated and began to melt.  Luckily, there was no damage to the home and no one was injured.


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!!!



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.

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.

Mulch Fires


Each year there are thousands of mulch fires in the US. Mulch can spontaneously combust, which is a problem when next to a house.

Try to keep mulch beds under 6 inches deep, and prevent them from getting too dry, especially on warm days.

For lawn lighting, use recommended outdoor wiring and the correct wattage bulbs.


Mulch fires can smolder under the surface... if you see smoke coming from a mulch bed, call the fire department.

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.