Back to the main/map page
Robert J. Fusco
Saturday By Appointment
Test the batteries monthly. A battery-powered
smoke detector can only save lives if its batteries are working. Put new batteries in
every 6 months and get in the habit of changing your batteries when you change your
Test the smoke detectors, too. Make sure
yours are still in good working condition. Replace any that are 10 years old or older.
Regularly vacuum smoke detectors to ensure
they don'y get clogged with cobwebs or dust.
Place at least one working smoke detector on
every level of your home, and in every area where people sleep.
Keep fire extinguishers handy. Multi-purpose
dry chemical extinguishers work well on wood, grease, other flammable liquid and
electrical fires. Make sure there is at least one extinguisher on each floor of your
house, particularly in or near the kitchen, garage, laundry room and workshop.
Have every adult in the household read the
extinguisher instruction manual so they know how to use it properly.
Periodically inspect your extinguishers to
determine if they need to be recharged or replaced.
Clean your fireplace regularly and have the
chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
Use a screen around the fireplace to protect
your home from popping embers.
Extinguish the fire before you go to sleep.
Place embers in a closed metal container on a fire-proof surface.
Never start a fire or try to revive one with
gasoline or other flammable liquids.
Trim tree branches back at least 10 feet from
Have a professional electrician check for
faulty wiring, especially if you're moving into an older home. Be certain your wiring is
professional and acan handle today's sophisticated electrical needs.
Never use an electric appliance for anything
other than its intended use. Hair dryers aren't meant to dry clothing, and ovens aren't
intended to heat your home.
Unplug all counter-top appliances when not in
use, including toasters, space heaters, coffee makers and irons. When plugged into an
outlet, all appliances still have dangerous electrical voltages inside of them - even when
they're turned off.
Keep appliances and thier cords away from
water. If an appliance falls into the water, don't retrieve it until you've unplugged the
appliance. Don't use the product again until you've had it inspected and repaired by a
qualified technician. Water conducts electricity, so water-damaged products can give you a
lethal electric shock.
Replace light bulbs with bulbs of equal or
lower wattage than that recommended by the manufacturer. Using bulbs of higher than
recommended wattage can cause the lamp or fixture to overheat and start a fire.
Never add fuel to a portable heater that is
turned on or still hot; the fuel could explode into flames.
Never run the heater's cord under a carpet,
rug, or furniture. This could cause the cord to overheat and start a fire.
Keep flammable materials - including bedding,
clothings, draperies, rugs, and furniture - at least three feet away from the heater, even
if your space heater has safety features such as cut-off switches or heating element
Don't use space heaters in rooms where
children are unsupervised, and might poke fingers or other objects through the heater's
protective guards. Even the slightest contact with a heating coil or element can cause a
severe shock, burn, or fire.
Never leave space heaters on while you're
If a fire starts in a stove-top pan, cover it
with a lid and turn off the heat source.
If a fire is burning in your oven, keep the
door closed and call your fire department.
Keep motors on refrigerators and other
appliances clean. Oil or dirt build-up on electric motors can make the motor to overheat.
Never leave food, especially grease,
unattended on the stove.
Turn pot and pan handles inward so children
won't pull them down from the stove.
Keep a fire extinguisher near the stove - one
that can be used for grease or electrical fires.
Smoking And Matches
Smoking is still the leading cause of deadly
home fires. Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy!
Never empty ashtrays into the trash can
shortly after smoking. Wait several hours for the smouldering embers to completely
Thoroughly check both sides of your couch and
chair cushions for dropped ashes.
If a cushion or couch has been burned or
scorched, put it outside away from the house overnight and call the fire department.
Never smoke or light matches near flammable
Teach children the danger of playing with
matches. Keep matches away from children's reach.
Check your dryer vent and vent hose regularly
for lint accumulation. Heat build-up could spark a fire in the hose or your dryer.
Dryer vents should be made of rigid metal.
Flexible plastic vents can be damaged by high heat, age and contact with other objects,
while accordian vents (plastic or metal) can crimp and are more likely to trap lint.
The vent should be run as short a distance as
possible, never more than 25 feet in a straight line.
All vents should discharge directly to the
home's exterior, never to a crawl space, attic, garage or chimney. Make sure you have a
backdraft damper at the termination point.
Place the heater out of high-traffic areas
such as doorways and hallways.
Store the kerosene outdoors, out of the reach
of children in a tightly sealed container labeled "kerosene".
If flames appear outside the heater cabinet,
call the fire department immediately. Do not attempt to move the heater.
Keep kerosene heaters in a well-ventilated
Turn off the heater when you go to sleep.
Never leave it operating unattended.
Place the heater at least three feet from
furniture, curtains, clothing and other flammables objects.
Plan at least two ways out of each room in
case on way is blocked.
Keep an escape ladder on the upper floors of
your house. Make sure it is long enough to reach the ground and strong enough to hold your
heaviest family member.
Sleep with bedroom doors closed. This slows
the spread of fire and could give you a few extra minutes to escape in the event of a home
Practice evacuation with the whole family. It
isn't enough to talk about your escape plan, you need to rehearse it until everyone knows
exactly what they should do. Set off the smoke alarm so everyone knows what it sounds
like. Practice crawling to an exit and be sure your children understand they should never
hide in the house during a fire.
Designate a well-lit meeting place, away from
traffic, where all family members can meet in case of fire to ensure that everyone is out
Choose someone to guide and take care of
small children, elderly parents or any family members who cannot get out on thier own.
In Case Of Fire
Keep low to the ground, because heat and
smoke rise. Crawl on your hands and knees to get out of the house.
Before opening any doors, check the door's
temperature with the back of your hand. If the door is warm, fire and smoke are likely to
be on the other side. Use an alternate exit out of the room.
Be sure to close any windows before opening a
door, and close all the doors behind you as you leave. This helps suffocate and slow the
spread of fire.
Get out of the house. Don't take any chances.
Follow your escape plan and make sure everyone is safely out.
Once you are safely out of the house, go to
your planned meeting place and stay there. Let firefighters know immediately if someone is
missing. Make sure no one returns for pets, toys or valuables.
What To Do If Your Clothes Catch Fire
Stop, drop, and roll if your clothes catch
fire - stop running, drop to the ground, and roll around until the fire is extinguished.
Place the burn if cool water for 10 to 15
minutes. If the burn blisters or chars, call a doctor immediately.
Wood Or Coal Burning Stoves
Check your stoves pipes and chimney regularly
for creosote build-up. Shiny creosote deposits look like black paint, and are an
indication that your wood stove is not working properly.
Burn seasoned wood to minimize creosote
build-up. Wood stored in the spring will be seasoned and ready to burn in the fall,
although a longer shortage time is preferable.
Don't overload the stove with wood. This can
cause thw ood to smolder, and produces excessive creosote build-up.
Keep combustibles away from the stove.
Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher on hand
in the event of a chimney fire. Close the damper and air inlet immediately, then call the
Don't connect a wood stove to a fireplace
chimney unless the chimney has been properly sealed around the stovepipe. Don't connect
more than one stove to a chimney.
Check heating equipment regularly for rusted
parts and insecure mountings.
Keep furnace clear of all combustible
Install a ceiling of fire-resistive materials
such as fire drywall or fire-resistant acoustic tile, especially if heating equipment is
in a basement that is often in use.
Halogen Floor Lamps
Never place materials such as clothing a
towels on top of a halogen torchiere lamp (a torchiere has an exposed lightbulb on top of
the fixture, directing the light to the ceiling.) Although halogen light bulbs use less
energy than incandescent bulbs, they burn much hotter.
Never place a halogen torchiere near an open
window where a strong breeze could blow drapery onto the lamp bulb.
Never use halogen torchiere lamps in
children's bedrooms or playrooms.
Don't use a bulb higher than 300 watts in
your halogen torchiere lamp.
Avoid leaving high-wattage (more than 100
watts) halogen lamps on when you leave the room or when you are not at home.
Never touch a halogen light bulb with bare
fingers. Even a bulb that has been turned off for several hours can burn you, and your
skin oils will damage the bulb.