Spring Into Fire Safety

Interim State Fire Marshal Donald Cooper is encouraging Ohioans to “spring into fire safety” as warmer days approach. Ohio averages more total fires in spring than any other season. More than 60,000 fires were reported during April, May and June to Ohio’s fire departments from 2004 to 2008.

“As the spring weather warms Ohio, many people throughout the state begin what is an annual ritual – spring cleaning,” said Cooper. “This is also an ideal time to check homes and yards to eliminate fire and safety hazards.”

The number of fires can be greatly reduced by taking these simple steps to protect your family and home:

  • Clear leaves, debris and other yard waste from around the home, garage and storage sheds.
  • Have a qualified professional perform proper maintenance on lawn equipment such as mowers, weed trimmers and leaf blowers.
  • Responsibly store flammable liquids and home chemicals; properly discard old containers of paint and solvents.
  • Fuels for lawn and garden equipment, tools and vehicles should only be stored in approved containers.
  • Check for frayed or damaged electrical cords and wires, and have them repaired by a qualified professional.
  • Air conditioning units and electrical cords should be checked.
  • Barbeque gas grills, including gas hoses, gas grill lines, and propane tanks, should be inspected prior to use.
  • Remove any combustibles from around hot water tanks, clothes dryers and vents and any heating equipment.
  • Remove any lint buildup from clothes dryers.
  • Get rid of oily rags and cloths used to wipe up fuel spills.
  • Windows should be checked to make sure they open and close properly, in case they are needed as exits.

A complete list of fire safety tips can be found on the Division of State Fire Marshal’s web site at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/

While you are thinking fire safety, take the time to test your smoke detectors. If you have not already changed the batteries, do it now. Also, dust or vacuum around the detector and replace any that are 10 years old or older. Finally, review your home fire escape plan and make certain every family member has two ways out of the home and knows the outside meeting location.
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