MARYLAND - The Maryland State Fire Marshal is reminding residents, to be safe when the power is out. When power outages happen, people turn to other sources to get light. The Fire Marshal is offering these helpful tips, on how to be safe, when the power goes out.
- Use flashlights during power outages instead of candles. Keep plenty of fresh batteries on hand at all times. If you prefer the look of candles, consider flameless battery operated candles that offer the flickering light without the potential fire hazard.
- If using candles, make sure they are placed on a stable piece of furniture in sturdy holders that will not tip over. Candles should fit in the holders securely and the holders should be made of material that will not burn.
- Keep candles away from anything combustible, such as; clothing, books, papers, curtains, decorations or anything else that can burn.
- Do not place candles where they can be knocked over by children or pets.
- Always extinguish all candles when leaving the room or before going to sleep.
- Never use candles, matches or lighters if medical oxygen therapy is used in the home.
- If you are depending on portable generators for electricity during power outages, use extreme caution when refueling. Fuel splashed on a hot muffler could ignite, causing severe burns and serious injuries.
- Never attempt to refuel a generator while it is running. Always allow the unit to cool before attempting to refuel.
- Operate generators outside of the home and outside of garages. Carbon monoxide gas produced by operating generators is poisonous and can quickly cause severe injury or death.
- Ensure placement of the generator does not allow carbon monoxide to enter the home through windows, doors or other openings.
- If you can hear thunder during the storm, you are within striking distance of lightning. Stay off corded phones, computers and other electronic equipment which would place you in direct contact with electricity.
Officials also want to make sure that homes are equipped with both working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.