Home Safety Checklist (cont.)

CHECK SMOKE DETECTORS

QUESTION: Are smoke detectors properly located?

YES ___ NO___

RECOMMENDATION: At least one smoke detector should be placed on every floor of your home.

  • Read the instructions that come with the smoke detector for advice on the best place to install it.
  • Make sure detectors are placed near bedrooms, either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on the wall.
  • Locate smoke detectors away from air vents.

QUESTION: Do you have properly working smoke detectors?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Many home fire injuries and deaths are caused by smoke and toxic gases, rather than the fire itself. Smoke detectors provide an early warning and can wake you in the event of a fire.

  • Purchase a smoke detector if you do not have one.
  • Check and replace batteries and bulbs according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Vacuum the grillwork of your smoke detector.
  • Replace any smoke detectors which can not be repaired.

NOTE: Some fire departments or local governments will provide assistance in acquiring or installing smoke detectors.

CHECK ELECTRICAL OUTLETS AND SWITCHES

QUESTION: Are any outlets and switches unusually warm or hot to the touch?

YES ___ NO ___

Unusually warm or hot outlets or switches may indicate that an unsafe wiring condition exists.

  • Unplug cords from outlets and do not use the switches.
  • Have an electrician check the wiring as soon as possible.

QUESTION: Do all outlets and switches have cover plates, so that no wiring is exposed?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Exposed wiring presents a shock hazard.

Add a cover plate.

QUESTION: Are light bulbs the appropriate size and type for the lamp or fixture?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: A bulb of too high wattage or the wrong type may lead to fire through overheating. Ceiling fixtures, recessed lights, and "hooded" lamps will trap heat.

  • Replace with a bulb of the correct type and wattage. (If you do not know the correct wattage, use a bulb no larger than 60 watts.)

CHECK SPACE HEATERS

QUESTION: Are heaters which come with a 3-prong plug being used in a 3-hole outlet or with a properly attached adapter?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: The grounding feature provided by a 3- hole receptacle or an adapter for a 2-hole receptacle is a safety feature designed to lessen the risk of shock.

  • Never defeat the grounding feature.
  • If you do not have a 3-hole outlet, use an adapter to connect the heater's 3-prong plug. Make sure the adapter ground wire or tab is attached to the outlet.

QUESTION: Are small stoves and heaters placed where they can not be knocked over, and away from furnishings and flammable materials, such as curtains or rugs?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Heaters can cause fires or serious burns if they cause you to trip or if they are knocked over.

Relocate heaters away from passageways and flammable materials such as curtains, rugs, furniture, etc.

QUESTION: If your home has space heating equipment, such as a kerosene heater, a gas heater or an LP gas heater, do you understand the installation and operating instructions thoroughly?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Unvented heaters should be used with room doors open or window slightly open to provide ventilation. The correct fuel, as recommended by the manufacturer, should always be used. Vented heaters should have proper venting, and the venting system should be checked frequently. Improper venting is the most frequent cause of carbon monoxide poisoning, and older consumers are at special risk.

Review the installation and operating instructions.

Call your local fire department if you have additional questions.

CHECK WOODBURNING HEATING EQUIPMENT

QUESTION: Is woodburning equipment installed properly?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Woodburning stoves should be installed by a qualified person according to local building codes.

Local building code officials or fire marshals can provide requirements and recommendations for installation. NOTE: Some insurance companies will not cover fire losses if wood stoves are not installed according to local codes.

CHECK THE EMERGENCY EXIT PLAN

QUESTION: Do you have an emergency exit plan and an alternate emergency exit plan in case of a fire?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Once a fire starts, it spreads rapidly. Since you may not have much time to get out and there may be a lot of confusion, it is important that everyone knows what to do.

  • Develop an emergency exit plan.
  • Choose a meeting place outside your home so you can be sure that everyone is capable of escape quickly and safely.
  • Practice the plan from time to time to make sure everyone is capable of escape quickly and safely.

Remember periodically to re-check your home.

KITCHEN

In the kitchen, check the range area, all electrical cords, lighting, the stool, all throw rugs and mats, and the telephone area.

CHECK THE RANGE AREA

QUESTION: Are towels, curtains, and other things that might catch fire located away from the range?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: Placing or storing non-cooking equipment like potholders, dish towels, or plastic utensils on or near the range man result in fires or burns.

  • Store flammable and combustible items away from range and oven.
  • Remove any towels hanging on oven handles. If towels hang close to a burner, change the location of the towel rack.
  • If necessary, shorten or remove curtains which could brush against heat sources.

QUESTION: Do you wear clothing with short or close- fitting sleeves while you are cooking?

YES ___ NO ___

RECOMMENDATION: CPSC estimates that 70% of all people who die from clothing fires are over 65 years of age. Long sleeves are more likely to catch fire than are short sleeves. Long sleeves are also more apt to catch on pot handles, overturning pots and pans and causing scalds.

  • Roll back long, loose sleeves or fasten them with pins or elastic bands while you are cooking.
QUESTION: Are kitchen ventilation systems or range exhausts functioning properly and are they in use while you are cooking?


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