October 2010 “Project SPLAT” disaster preparedness for the community!!
In honor of fire prevention month we are focusing on Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
Every home should be equipped with smoke detectors, they are traditionally placed outside of bedrooms and on ceilings since smoke rises. They may be wired into your electrical system, with a battery “back up”or run on batteries. If you change these batteries every time you change your clocks in the Spring and Fall, you can be more certain of them working when you need them to.
If your smoke detector is beeping or chirping and it’s not from smoke and you have changed the batteries, you can ask your local firemen to help you understand what the problem is. Sometimes steam from a bathroom can make one chirp. You may need to move it to a better location. DO NOT remove the batteries just because it is annoying! You may be without this life saving alarm system when you need it the most!
Fire Extinguishers should be available in every home and business. If you have never used a fire extinguisher you may be frustrated and panicked when you need to. As with most emergency equipment, the equipment is only as good as the knowledge of the user. If you would like to attend an exercise on using a fire extinguisher and fire safety, please contact your local CERT team for a training. If you are not certain who they are contact Janet Lindquist at 435-979-0629.
Most household fire extinguishers are a “Class C.” They are for ordinary combustibles, such as paper and plastic. The one in your home should be 5 to 10 lbs. They usually have a “gauge” which shows a red and green section. Your extinguisher should show in the green. NOTE! If you have an extinguisher which has been sitting in the same place for years and years, the dry chemical inside can become a lump which doesn’t propel when the handle is finally pressed. You will need to turn it upside down and give it a shake every 6 months or so to keep it from lumping in place. If you are not sure yours is working or if you have used yours and need it recharged, you can have it checked by Central Valley Fire Safety, located in Delta, Utah, 435-864-2632.
Grease fires in your home are best put out by covering or “smothering” to prevent the air from fueling it. NEVER throw water on a grease fire! (Oil, grease, gasoline, kerosene) OR an electrical fire! (Appliances, computers, TV’s, etc).
Always remember to CALL 911 in the event of ANY fire in your home! Even if you have put your fire out with your extinguisher, it is best to have your local firemen check to make sure it is truly out and the area deemed safe. You would not want a spark to ignite hours or days later when you are sleeping or gone from home.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors are important in all homes today. They can be purchased at your local hardware stores and usually plug into an electrical source and have a battery back up system. If you have a fireplace or attached garage you should install one on the main level that they are on. Carbon Monoxide fumes stay low to the ground and are known as the “silent killer”, since they are odorless and you and your family may not even know it is killing you. Know the signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning! Listlessness and lethargy, combined with nausea will be the first early signs and if more than a couple people shows signs and symptoms go outside immediately, if your symptoms go away, open up the windows and air out the living quarters. Check your fireplace for a smoldering fire and your garage for car exhaust vapors escaping into the house. If you need an ambulance call 911 immediately! This can be life threatening! Winter months are the most dangerous for fires and carbon monoxide poisonings. With these easy prevention tips you can be sure of having a safe winter months ahead.
Project “SPLAT” is brought to you by the Millard County Sheriff's Office, Millard County CERT and Sheriff Robert A. Dekker!