CAMINO — Cal Fire’s Amador-El Dorado Unit Chief Kelly Keenan asks everyone to put “fire safety” at the top of their checklist as we begin the holiday season.
“Taking a few minutes to review this article on preventing a fire, what to do in case of a fire and how to extinguish a small fire can prevent a disaster from ever happening,” Keenan said. “Our world has changed significantly from that of our parents. We are busier, more distracted and sometimes overwhelmed by the day-to-day needs of work and family. Fire safety typically falls to the bottom of the list of things to consider.
“Today I’m asking you to put fire safety first and read the following information,” the chief continued. “It won’t take long and will be well worth your time.”
• Make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order. Don’t forget that the law now requires carbon monoxide alarms in your home as well.
• Practice your home exit drill with your family and review and practice your exit drill with any visiting family and friends. Make sure everyone knows where your meeting place is and in the event of a house fire, remember to Crawl Low Under the Smoke filling your home. Never stop to grab personal items, get out of the house and stay out. Call 9-1-1 from outside the house, and let emergency services know whether everyone has exited the house safely.
• If you have a fire extinguisher, make sure you know how to use it. Think of the acronym P.A.S.S = Pull the locking pin out of the handle. Aim the nozzle/hose at the base of the fire. Squeeze the handle of the extinguisher . Sweep back and forth until the fire is out. Do not hesitate to empty the extinguisher on the fire. Always call 9-1-1 and have fire department personnel check for any residual “hold over fires” (smoldering fires).
• Use battery operated candles instead of traditional candles. They are inexpensive, safer, last longer and don’t spill melted wax all over your furniture.
• Keep all flammable materials (such as curtains, blankets, trees, gifts, etc.) a minimum of 3 feet away from all heating sources such as your wood burning stove, space heaters, etc.
“Every year Cal Fire responds to fires that occur when someone has been distracted from the matter at hand. Leaving cooking food on a stove or in an oven and forgetting about it after you leave the kitchen is the leading cause of house fires,” Keenan said. “Forgetting to blow out lit candles before leaving a room or placing decorations or packages too close to a wood stove or other heat source also cause numerous house fires. These are all preventable fires. So please pledge to be fire safe this holiday season; you will be glad you did.”
For more information on fire and life safety issues visit fire.ca.gov.