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Chatham Emergency Services Update

By Carey Ruppert - cruppert@chathames.org
Chief, Skidaway Division

Solid Gold Top Ten Fire Safety Tips 

Although I use this article to provide residents with information on a variety of topics related to fire safety, I still get asked by friends and neighbors what are the most important things they can do to keep their loved ones and home safe from fire. Here is a list of my top 10 fire safety tips: 

  1. Ensure that you have functioning smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test your alarms regularly, and replace the batteries annually. 
  2. Don’t leave frying, boiling, broiling, or grilling food unattended. Keep flammable items, such as kitchen towels and paper, away from cooking surfaces. 
  3. Establish a fire escape plan (including two routes out of each room). Practice this plan with your family. Make sure everyone knows where the safe meeting place is outside the house. 
  4. If a fire occurs in your home...Get out, Stay Out, and Call for Help. Never go back inside a burning building. 
  5. Keep matches and lighters up high and out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child-proof lock. 
  6. Have a properly working fire extinguisher on hand. Ideally, have one in or near the kitchen and one in the garage. 
  7. If you have a small fire and extinguish it yourself, call us anyway. We will check for any unseen hazards, such as fire extensions into the walls or lingering toxic gases. If necessary, we will mechanically ventilate your home to remove any remaining smoke. 
  8. Don’t overload electrical outlets. Inspect electric cords, extension cords, and surge protectors periodically, and discard them if they are damaged or discolored. 
  9. Be careful when using candles. Keep them at least 12 inches from anything that can burn, and extinguish them when you leave the room or go to bed. 
  10. Install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. Have your central heating system inspected, cleaned, and serviced at least once per year. 

I have not included it in my Top 10 list, but always remember, in the event of a fire or  medical emergency, call 355-6688. 

I hope everyone has a safe and fire-free 2021.