Below is information for building safety tips:
- Don’t let electrical cords create a danger in your house
- Seven things to know about smoke alarms that could save your life
- Do I need a permit for my house project?
- Don’t let your gas appliances starve for air!
- Make a safe exit
- Summertime Grilling: Keep it Safe
- The sound of safety
- Is your water heater closet a fire hazard?
- Spring forward to backyard safety
Overloaded outlets and undersized electrical extension cords can cause afire or electrocution danger. Use Electrical Cords Safely:
- Never overload electrical cords or power strips. Electrical cords and power strips have a designated load capacity. Be sure the total amount of energy used by appliances and lights plugged into the strip does not exceed that capacity.
- Use only listed power strips that have integral overload protection and have been tested by a product safety laboratory.
- Don’t use appliances that have damaged cords.
- Extension cords should not be used as a substitute for permanently wired outlets.
Electrical cords must be the proper wire size for the load they serve. Overloaded cords will become hot and can start a fire. Avoid permanent use of extension cords. Appliance cords and extension cords are susceptible to physical damage from foot traffic, furniture, house pets, swinging doors and many other causes so protect them from damage. Contact your local building safety department for more information.
- Never disconnect or remove batteries from your smoke alarm
- Change your clock, change your battery. Make it a habit to change smoke alarm batteries when you change your clocks back to standard time each fall.
- Test all smoke alarms once a month to make sure they work.
- One smoke alarm is not enough. Every household should have one smoke alarm in each sleeping room and one in each common area.
- Replace all smoke alarms every ten years. Units that are past their 10-year service life have a high potential for failing to detect a fire.
- Save your life and the lives of your loved ones; keep functional smoke alarms in your home.
- Remember smoke alarms are for your protection.
Please join us in combating the potential risk of fire in your home. If your rental unit does not have working smoke alarms, make arrangements with your property owner to have them installed today. It’s the law!
Check with your local building safety department before beginning home-improvement projects Requirements vary, but many building safety departments require permits for home-improvement projects, including electrical, mechanical, structural or plumbing work. As a result of getting a permit, an inspector will check the work. Inspections provide a measure of safety to protect your life and property.
Projects the usually require permits:
- Installing electrical outlets
- Replacing windows
- Remodeling kitchens or bathrooms
- Installing a pool, spa or hot tub
- Building an addition including seasonal rooms
- Installing appliances and replacements such as furnaces, boilers, water heaters, fireplaces and space heaters
- Building a tall fence-over 6 feet in height
If you are planning to make home improvements, contact your local building safety department to find out what building safety code provisions apply in your area and if you need a permit.
Gas appliances, such as water heaters, furnaces and boilers, need Plenty of air to operate safely. Otherwise they will produce excessive, deadly carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and toxic, which means you can’t see, taste or smelt it. It causes headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. Carbon monoxide can kilt, so be sure to maintain your gas appliances. Safely operate your gas-fired appliances:
- Schedule an annual appliance inspection, cleaning and tune-up by a qualified specialist.
- Have vents and chimneys inspected by a qualified expert at least once per year.
- Have a technician check the combustion air provisions for your appliances.
- Store combustibles and flammables far away from gas appliances.
Building safety codes require specific venting sizes and combustion air provisions for gas appliances to ensure safe operations. Contact your local gas company or building safety department for more information.
During a home emergency, such as a fire, it is important that all occupants are able to get out – and emergency personnel are able to get in – as quickly and easily as possible. Safe exit paths and passages:
- Keep hallway clear of obstructions.
- Do not block or obstruct emergency escape windows and exit doors.
- Make sure all family members know how to unlock and open windows and doors.
- Be sure window security bars release from the inside in case of emergency.
- Develop and practice a fire escape plan.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, it takes less than 30 seconds for a small flame to burn completely out of control and turn into a major fire. Within minutes, a house can fill with thick, black smoke and become engulfed in flames. Building safety codes designate minimum window and hallway sizes so occupants will be able to get oral in case of emergency, and provide access for first responders to get in. Contact your local building safety department for more information.
Summer is right around the corner and families across the country are preparing their gills for another season of delicious outdoor meals. Following are tips to keep in mind while using a propane grill:
- Read and follow all the grill manufacturer’s instructions before turning on and lighting the grill.
- Keep the top open when lighting a propane grill, and don’t close it until you are sure the grill is lit.
- Don’t let children tamper with the cylinder or the grill.
- If you smell gas, and it is safe to do so, turn off the cylinder valve, turning it to the right (clockwise). If you are unable to turn off the valve, immediately leave the area and dial 911 or call your local fire department. Before you use the grill again, have a qualified service technician inspect your grill and cylinder.
- Remain near the grill while it is on. Do not leave a lit grill unattended.
When you’re finished using the grill, be sure to do the following:
- Disconnect and cover hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep the grill clean when it is not in use.
- Store propane cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position.
- When refilling or replacing a propane cylinder, transport it in a secure, upright (vertical) position in a well ventilated area in your vehicle, and take it home immediately.
- Consult a qualified service technician if you are having grill or propane cylinder problems.
What is the most important thing to remember when installing a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm? Location, location, location!
Smoke alarm safety:
- Install at least one smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside of each sleeping room area and on each level of a multi-level building.
- Test each smoke alarm regularly.
- Keep batteries fresh by replacing them annually.
Carbon monoxide (CO) alarm safety:
- Install a CO alarm in the hallway outside of each sleeping room area.
- Test each CO alarm regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Permanently wired or plug-in CO alarms should have a battery backup. Keep batteries fresh by replacing them annually.
CO alarms can’t help you unless they are functional and you can hear them. Building safety codes require CO alarms in all dwelling units that contain a fuel-fired appliance and dwelling units that have an attached garage. Contact your local building safety department for more information.
You can consider your water heater closet a fire hazard if you are using it as a storage space. Storing items in the water heater closet is extremely dangerous. The pilot light flame underneath the heater may set fire to the items stored near it. If the flame is accidentally extinguished, die fumes can create an extremely hazardous, highly combustible situation. Please join us in combating fire hazards in your home.
Remember: The water heater is the only item to be kept in your water heater closet and it must be anchored or strapped.
Getting outdoor areas ready for spring and summer season entertaining is a top priority for many homeowners. According to a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), two-thirds of homeowners report spending more time in their outdoor living spaces than in years past, and more than half are looking for new ways to extend the outdoor living season.
Before bringing out portable appliances and firing up the propane grill, PERC offers the following tips for a safe and enjoyable backyard living:
- Keep burnable materials like dry grass, wood, or debris at least 10 feet away from propane tanks and cylinders. Never burn wood, coal, or anything other than propane in a propane fire pit.
- Don’t store tanks or cylinders inside buildings, including garages or sheds.
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the appliance you’re using, including where to put the unit, how to connect it to a cylinder, and how to use, clean, and store it. Fire pits and heaters need varying amounts of clearance, depending on the model. In general, allow at least three feet of clearance on all sides.
- Have your fire pit inspected by a professional every year.
- Before lighting your propane grill for the first time in the spring, check the cooking grid and warming rack to be sure both are in their proper place. Clean the grid, the interior of the grill, and the burner (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) with a wire brush or scraper to remove any built-up food. And remember – always keep the top open when lighting the grill until you are sure it is lit.
- If the igniter fails to light the grill after two or three tries, turn off the gas and replace the igniter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- When it’ s time to refill or replace a propane cylinder, stow it upright in your vehicle in a well-ventilated area, not the trunk. Return home directly after refilling.
- Replace any tank that has holes, dents, rusted weak spots, cracks, or other damage, or is past its expiration date.
Pool & Deck Safety
- Make sure all gates in the isolation fence for your pool are self closing and self-latching.
- Remove all chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the pool isolation fence.
- Reaching and throwing aids like poles should be kept on both sides of the pool . These items should remain stationary and not be misplaced through play activities.
- All pool and hot tub drains (suction outlets) must have a cover or gate that meets industry standards for suction fittings marked to indicate compliance with ANSI/ASME A112 .19.8 2007.
- Install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. While the alarm provides an immediate warning, it does not substitute for the fences , door alarms and safety covers required by the code.
- Install either an automatic or manually operated, approved safety cover to completely block access to water in the pool, spa or hot tub. Never allow anyone to stand or play on a pool cover.
- Check for warning signs for an unsafe deck, including loose or wobbly railings or support beams, missing or loose screws that connect a deck to the house, corrosion, rot and cracks.
- Place the barbecue grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. It is also unsafe to use grills in a garage, porch or enclosed area that could trap carbon monoxide. Never grill on top of anything that can catch on fire.
- When grilling, have a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or at least 4 gallons of water close by in case of a fire.
- Keep children away from fires and grills. Establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct the children to remain outside of the zone. A chalk line works great for this purpose. Never leave the grill unattended.