PIKESVILLE, Md. -- State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard wants to remind residents to check for fire safety where they live, where they work and even
where they attend classes, training's and meetings.
To ensure your best chances of surviving a fire, the State
Fire Marshal offers the following tips on both escaping a fire and preventing
one to begin with.
- Test smoke alarms
and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are working properly. Remember, the
effects of toxic smoke and gases can quickly overcome your ability to think
clearly. Every second counts when
escaping the ingredients of fire.
- Check exits from
both your home and any place you go to ensure you will be able to get to
safety. Blocked exits resulting from improperly
placed chairs, tables or even holiday decorations can result in the delay of
getting out quickly and safely. Be
vigilant of these safety concerns whether at church, school or even your local
- When using
portable unvented fuel-fired heaters, such as kerosene heaters, make sure to
only use the recommended fuel specified in the owner's manual and NEVER use gasoline. Note:
Portable kerosene heaters are banned for use in Baltimore City.
- If you find it
necessary to use an electric space heater, use only one that has been approved
by an authorized testing laboratory such as UL.
- Keep all portable
space heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible.
- If heating
equipment fails, do not use kitchen stoves or ovens to supply heat. These devices are not designed for that
purpose and the chance of a fire improves greatly.
- When using
fireplaces, woodstoves or pellet stoves; please ensure these heat sources have
been installed and properly serviced by trained technicians according to state
and local codes, which will allow them to work at peak efficiency and lower the
risk of a catastrophic failure.
- Never leave
candles burning unattended. Extinguish
the flame before leaving the room.
- Prevent fires
from starting on the stove by staying in the kitchen and monitoring the food as
it is being prepared. If a fire would
occur in a pot or pan on the stove, calmly place a lid on it and turn off the
burner. Allow it to cool before removal
from the stove.
- If using a turkey
fryer, please follow all safety precautions and manufacturer's instructions.
- If you are using
a cut tree for Christmas, special precautions need to be observed: Select a
tree with green needles that do not remove too easily from the branches and the
trunk should be sticky to the touch. Place
the tree in a location away from heat sources and add water every day during
the recommended two week life span while on display.
- Never use lit
candles to decorate a tree. Ensure
candles are placed well away from tree branches.
- Inspect holiday
lighting for frayed or damaged wiring and check for cracked sockets. Replace strands with new sets as they become
worn. Follow manufacturer's guidelines
when attaching additional strands.
- Always unplug or
switch off all holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Take down holiday
lighting after the holidays. Holiday
lights are temporary seasonal decorations that should be limited to 90 days
- Dried out trees
can ignite more readily. Remove the tree
shortly after the holiday and place outdoors.