With many serious and deadly fires tragically happening all across our great county and state, having peace of mind and confidence in our safety plans and the safety of our family and ourselves is of paramount importance, as we all know.
Every year, hundreds of accidental fires are caused by everyday household items too close to an open flame or heating device. Many fires were caused as a result of human error or outside burning during dry conditions.
With all this in mind, please make sure all flammable materials like curtains, furniture, debris and dust are away or from heating ducts, coils and burners. Please double check for flammable materials or debris around or near your heating devices.
Small portable heaters and heater vents and coils should also be kept clean and free of dust. It’s best to keep space and portable heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.
Candles are also a major source of house fires each year. Most are either forgotten about or placed to close to flammable materials. Make sure candleholders are in a safe place where they can’t be knocked over. Children should never be left alone with a burning candle. Leave the candles to the grown ups. Candles and matches should be placed or locked up high and out of the reach of small children.
When burning outdoors please make sure the weather conditions are suitable for outdoor burning. Many injuries, deaths and serious fires were caused as a result of burning during less than safe and ideal conditions. To determine whether weather and outdoor conditions are suitable, please contact your local fire department.
Every home should also have a fire escape plan, a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector. Smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries should be replaced every six months. I would also ask that if any reader knows of any homebound senior citizen or anyone homebound to please check on them to make sure that their homes are prepared for the frigid temperatures. Extremely low and high temperatures kill hundreds of citizens each year, so please keep them in mind throughout the year.
It is also said that one in 15 homes has high levels of radon, so please test your homes for radon, as well.
May God bless you all.
Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.