Archive for January 17th, 2011

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• Monday, January 17th, 2011

1. BEFORE YOU DIG call MISS UTILITY 1-800-257-7777 (2 day notice is required). Please note that the Maryland High Voltage Line Act prohibits any person or object from getting closer than 10 feet from high voltage power lines.
2. Ensure candles are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down. Most importantly, keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
3. Never leave the house with candles burning and never leave burning candles unattended.
4. Over half (55%) of home candle fires start because the candle is too close to some combustible material. If you do use candles, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down.
5. If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
6. When buying electrical appliances look for products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
7.  When lighting a gas fireplace or gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.
8. Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.
9. Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away
10. Purchase an ABC type extinguisher for extinguishing all types of fires. Fire extinguishers should be mounted in the kitchen, garage, and workshop and should only be used on small fires. If there is a large fire, get out immediately and call 911.
11. Smoke alarms should be installed in each sleeping room/bedroom, outside of sleeping rooms/bedrooms and on each level of your house. Make sure to test your smoke alarms each month and change the batteries at least once a year.
12. Practice an escape plan from every room in the house. Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire and never to open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone can meet after escaping the house. Get out then call for help.
13. When home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased. Sprinklers are affordable – they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.
14. Test your smoke alarm each month and change the batteries at least once a year.
15.  Plant fire prone trees and shrubs away from your home and far enough apart so they won’t ignite one another.
16. Install noncombustible 1/4 inch or smaller mesh screening on chimney outlets, attic/soffit vents and around elevated wood decks.
17. Maintain a “defensible” space around your home by clearing all flammable vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around all structures. Clear dead leaves and branches to leave widely spaced ornamental shrubbery and trees.