More home hazards room by room

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Here are the last three areas of your home that you need to be aware of. Make sure you take the time to check all of the items that I have mentioned.


• Keeping bedrooms fire safe is a smart way to get a better night’s sleep.

• Replace electric blankets more than 10 years old or with damaged cords, wires or temperature control.

• If you find warm electrical outlets or switches, shut off the circuit and call a professional electrician.

• Install a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm on ceilings or high on walls on every level of the house, and in every room used for sleeping.

• Anyone dependent on a walker or wheelchair should sleep on the ground floor.

• Don’t smoke or use an open flame near medical oxygen.

• If your child invites friends to spend the night, it’s important to review fire safety procedures and share this information with the parents.

• Only use extension cords approved by Underwriters Laboratories.

• Never use candles in bedrooms.

• Keep all lamps free of flammable materials.

• Don’t run electrical cords under rugs.

• Replace and repair loose or frayed electrical cords.

• Don’t allow permanent use of extension cords.

• Don’t staple or nail electrical cords.

• Never smoke in bed.

• Never leave heavy objects on the bed when an electric blanket is in use.

• Install a carbon monoxide alarm near bedrooms.


• Keep fire out of your life by keeping the outside of your home fire safe.

• Place portable fire pits on stable, fireproof surfaces such as concrete and away from combustibles.

• Keep your grill away from walls and out from under leaves and overhanging branches.

• Keep your grill at least three feet away from your home.

• If you live in a place where it snows, remember to keep all exhaust vents from your home clear and shovel out hydrants near your home.

• Develop and practice a home evacuation plan.

• Make sure every family member knows two ways out of each room in your home.

• Practice escaping, staying low to the ground and not opening doors that are hot to the touch.

• Assign a family member to assist anyone with a mobility issue.

• Choose a place outside your home for all family members to meet. Get out of the home first and then call the fire department from a neighbor’s phone. Make sure everyone knows not to return inside the home.


• Long or short, fire safe hallways keep your family moving while stopping fire danger.

• Don’t use extension cords

that are frayed or wrapped in a

coil, and don’t run cords under


• Install ceiling-mounted smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are at least four inches away from the walls on every level of your home.

• Ensure smoke alarms are UL listed.

• Test your smoke alarms once a month.

• Wall-mounted smoke alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.

• Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts.

• Vacuum your smoke alarms every six months.

• Change your smoke alarm batteries at twice per year. Make sure batteries are always in smoke alarms.

Michael Heath is president of the St. John Professional Firefighters Association.