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During National Fire Prevention week attention is focused on promoting fire safety and prevention,
however we should practice fire safety all year long.

COOKING WITH CARE: Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking food. Keep anything that can catch fire such as potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags – away from your stovetop. Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire. Always keep an oven mitt and lid handy. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put the oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don’t remove the lid until it is completely cool.

HEALTHY HEATING: Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. Keep all things than can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment. Turn portable space heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room. An oven should not be used to heat a home.

CANDLE WITH CAUTION: Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Use sturdy, safe candleholders. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Blow out candles when you leave a room. Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas. Use flashlights for emergency lighting.

EVERYDAY ELECTRICAL SAFETY: Keep lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs away from anything that can burn, such as shades, bedding, curtains and clothing. Replace cracked and damaged electrical cords. Use extension cords for temporary wiring only. Homes with young children should have tamper-resistant electrical receptacles. Call a qualified electrician if you have problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, discolored or warm wall outlets, flickering lights or a burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance.

SAFETY 101: Install and maintain a working smoke alarm outside of every sleep area and remember to change the battery at least once a year. For best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Designate two escape routes from each bedroom and practice them regularly. If possible designate a meeting place outside. Teach everyone the “Stop, Drop and Roll” technique in case clothing catches fire. Avoid storing old mattresses in the home or garage. At Halloween wear flame retardant costumes and keep outdoor candle-lit jack-o-lanterns away from areas where costumed trick-or-treaters may brush against them.


©2007 St. James Catholic Church, Hopewell, VA