Spring Cleaning & Life Safety Tips
By Sykesville Fire Department
April 6, 2017

The Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department would like to remind everyone of some springtime fire and life safety tips.

Spring is the time that we traditionally take a day to clean up our homes or business. Here are a few things that you can add to your list:

Check your dryer vents and the hose/pipe connecting the dryer to the outside vent. Clean out any lint and inspect all hose and piping and replace as needed. Simply cleaning the lint filter on the dryer is not sufficient to prevent dryer fires.

Clean up clutter both inside your home/business and outside on your property. Know that the excessive accumulation of clutter is dangerous and does lead to serious fires.

If you used a fireplace this winter, now is a good time to have it cleaned and inspected. Contact a licensed chimney professional.

As always, make sure you check the batteries and test your smoke detectors monthly. Remember, you need to replace smoke detectors older than ten (10) years. Smoke detectors shall be located inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, including the basement.

Carbon Monoxide detectors shall be installed when you have heating or cooking equipment that burn fuel or an attached car garage or a fire place.

Check all extension cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpet. Extension cords are intended for temporary use.

Seasonal Fire and Life Safety Tips:

As you prepare to fire up your grill, remember these tips: Grills must only be used outdoors, away from structures and other combustible materials such as wood fences. While seemingly obvious, failure to follow this instruction is a common cause of grill-related house fires, particularly when the weather is uncooperative which may tempt people to move their grills into their garage or underneath an overhang on a deck or porch.

It is vital to clean grills and ensure they are free of grease buildup before using them. This is particularly important with propane and gas fueled grills because they are most prone to grease build-up.

Use caution when fueling lawn mowers and other small engines. Always refill when the engine is turned off and cooled down.

Store gasoline only in approved containers and never store the fuel anywhere in your home.

Create a fire escape plan - Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.

Spring means storm season – Remember that any thunderstorm or heavy rain can cause flash flooding. Just six inches of moving water can knock a person down. Two feet can sweep a vehicle away! When you’re walking or driving, stay clear of flood water. And remember, if you can hear thunder, there is a danger of lightning. Stay indoors and away from windows during thunderstorms – and remember that power surges from lightning can come through your homes phone and electrical wires.

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