Safety Corner

Published 10:54 am Thursday, January 22, 2009

By Staff
Fire hydrants
Residents and business owners are reminded to keep fire hydrants clear of snow for quick access by fire department personnel.
We recognize the challenge this presents with our unusually cold and snowy winter season.
However, quick access to these hydrants by our fire personnel is critical to an effective response should a fire erupt.
The following statistics re-emphasize the importance of a rapid, effective response.
Did you know?
Eighty-two percent of all fire deaths occur in the home.
Heating is the leading cause of residential structure fires in rural areas.
Deaths due to fires in rural areas are particularly preventable.
Having a working smoke alarm reduces one's chance of dying in a fire by nearly half.
Following these simple fire safety tips can boost survival rates dramatically.
Please share them because knowledge is the best fire protection.
Rural fire safety
life-saving tips
Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
Test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
Consider installing a 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarm, which is sealed so it cannot be tampered with or opened.
When building a home or addition, use fire-resistant roofing materials.
Avoid using wood materials that offer the least fire protection. Also, use fire-resistant siding such as stucco, brick, stone, etc.
Let your landscape defend your property.
Create defensible space by thinning trees and brush within 30 feet of your home.
Stack firewood at least 30 feet away from your home and other structures.
Store flammable materials, liquids and solvents in metal containers outside the home, at least 30 feet away from structures and wooden fences.
Burning yard waste is a fire hazard.
Check with your fire department on a non-emergency number for fire permit requirements and restricted burning times.
Have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a certified specialist.
Provide emergency vehicle access with properly constructed driveways and roadways at least 12 feet wide with adequate turnaround space.
Post home address signs that are clearly visible from the road.
Develop and practice fire escape and evacuation plans with your family.
Dowagiac Fire Department personnel are well-trained professionals ready to assist in your time of need.
Please take a few moments to evaluate your home and practice to be a pro-active participant in protecting your family members and property.
Safety Corner is a weekly feature of the Dowagiac Department of Public Safety.
If you have topics you would like to see covered in future editions, please call Patty (Carlisle) Klug at the Dowagiac Police Department by dialing 782-9743.