Safety Tips

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Install detectors on every level of the house, in the vicinity of the heating unit, and in R.V.'s
  • Be sure alarms can be heard from every sleeping area.
  • Test the same as smoke detectors


  • Colorless
  • Odorless
  • Tasteless
  • Highly Toxic Gas
  • Undetectable to the Human Senses
  • By-Product of Combustion
  • Present Whenever Fuel is Burned
 "CO Detectors Save Lives" 

Please make sure you have one on each level of your home and one in each bedroom. TEST them at least once a month. When the time changes change your batteries. Develop an Escape Plan with a meeting place outside and have drills. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector!


Fireplace Safety

Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean

  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist
  • Clear area around the hearth of debris, decorations, flammable and combustible materials. Keep at least 3 feet of clearance.
  • Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces. Leave glass door open while burning.
  • Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
  • Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. This may cause creosote buildup and a chimney fire.
  • Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.

Safely Burn Fuels

  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
  • Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
  • When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.

Protect the Outside of Your House

  • Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet from your house.
  • Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
  • Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.
  • Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.


Holiday Fire Prevention

Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and has probably dried out.

Caring for and Disposing of Your Tree

  • Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Do not put your live tree up too early. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
  • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or woodburning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. Dispose of your tree by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

Holiday Lights, Decorations and Candle Care

  • Maintain your holiday lights and inspect for damage before using.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or link more than 3 light strands
  • Do not leave holiday lights unattended
  • Use only nonflammable or flame-retardant decorations and place all decorations away from heat sources.
  • Never put wrapping paper in a fire place.
  • Make sure artificial or metallic tress are flame retardant.
  • Never put lit candles on a tree
  • Do not go near a holiday tree with an open flame - candles, lighters, or matches
  • Avoid using lit candles, if you do, use stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked over.
  • Never leave the house with candles burning

Hotel Fire Safety

Plan Ahead

  • Be familiar with your surroundings when traveling
  • When making reservations, ask if the hotel/motel has detectors and fire sprinklers
  • When traveling, take a flashlight with you
  • Read carefully or request, if not posted, the fire evacuation plan.
  • Locate the two exits from your room.
  • Count the number of doors between your room and the exits
  • Locate the fire alarms on your floor.
  • Never smoke in bed.

Life Safety Tips

  • If the fire is in your room, get out quickly. Close the door, sound the alarm and notify the front desk.
  • Always use the stairwell, never an elevator
  • If the fire is not in your room, leave if it is safe to do so.
  • To check the hallway for fire, touch the door with the back of your hand to test the temperature. If the door is cool, get low to the floor, brace your shoulder against the door and open it slowly. Be ready to close the door if there are flames. Crawl low in the smoke to the nearest exit.
  • If the door is hot, do not open it. Instead seal the door with wet towels and sheets. Turn off fans/air conditioners. Call the fire department to give your location. Signal from your window

Smoke Detectors

"Smoke Detectors Save Lives and Property" 
Please make sure you have one on each level of your home and one in each bedroom. 
TEST them at least once a month. 
When the time changes change your batteries. 
Develop an Escape Plan with a meeting place outside and have drills. 
Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector


  • Sleeping Areas: Place one detector outside the bedroom, preferably in a hallway. Building Codes require detectors in each sleeping area and connected to all detectors by hard wire.
  • Living Area: Keep detector away from a fireplace or wood stove to avoid false alarms.
  • Hall and Stairway: Place unit at the top of each stairwell and at the end of a long hall.
  • Kitchen (eating/dining area): Keep detector away from cooking flames or smoking areas.
  • Basement: Mount on ceiling at top of stairway, not near exhaust from heating unit.


  • At a minimum one detector on each level of the home.
  • Install detectors according to manufacturer instructions
  • Replace batteries twice yearly with the time change or as needed.
  • Clean detector's face and grill to remove dust or grease.
  • Test your detectors every 30 days.
  • Replace you Smoke Detectors after 10 years


  • Disable detectors by disconnecting batteries or wiring
  • Cover detectors to prevent false alarms
  • Live without smoke detectors

Weather Emergencies

Hazards During and After Sever Weather

  • Leaking gas lines, damaged or leaking gas propane containers, and leaking vehicle gas tanks may explode or ignite.
  • Debris can easily ignite, especially if electrical wires are severed.
  • Pools of water and even appliances can be electrically charged
  • Generators that are not properly used and maintained
  • Alternative heating devices used incorrectly create fire hazards.

Chemical Safety

  • Look for combustible liquids like gasoline, lighter fluid and paint thinner that may have spilled. Thoroughly clean the spill and place containers in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep combustible liquids away from heat sources

Electrical and Gas Safety

  • Assume all wires on the ground are electrically charged including cable TV and telephone lines.
  • Look for and replace damaged extension and appliance cords.
  • Exposed outlets and wiring present a fire and life safety hazard.
  • Appliances that emit smoke or sparks should not be used.
  • Smell and listen for leaky gas connections. If you believe there is a gas leak, immediately leave the house and leave the door's) open.
  • Never turn the gas back on before having the system checked.

Generator Safety

  • Follow the manufacture's instructions and guidelines.
  • Use a generator or any fuel-powered equipment outside the house. Carbon Monoxide fumes can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
  • Use appropriate sized/type power cords to carry the electrical loads.
  • Never run cords under rugs and carpet
  • Never connect generators to another power source such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or "back feed" can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.

Heating Safety

  • Kerosene heaters may not be legal in you community, check first.
  • Do not use the kitchen oven/range to heat your home
  • Alternative heaters need to be at least 3 feet from any combustibles.
  • Make sure your alternative heaters have "tip switches". These switches are designated to automatically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.
  • Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Never refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot.
  • Refuel space heaters only outdoors.
  • Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, at least 3 feet away from combustible materials, and have adequate ventilation.
  • Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace.

And Remember

  • Some smoke detectors may be depend on your house electrical service and could be inoperative during a power outage. Check to see if your smoke detector uses a back-up battery.
  • Lit candles should be in stable holders and placed where they can not be easily knocked over. Never leave the house with candles burning.
  • Keep stairwells and exits free of furniture and household items.
  • Keep cigarettes, lighters and matches away from children.
  • Do not try to extinguish a house fire. Get everyone out and then call 911