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					During or After

                                                            T S Storm E Safety
                                                      F A C Winter H E Fire T
         wide range of natural disasters occurs within the United States every year. Natural disasters
   A     can have a devastating effect on you and your home.

   The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administration encourages you to use the
   following safety tips to help protect yourself, your family and your home from the potential threat of
   fire during or after a winter storm. You can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a fire casualty
   by being able to identify potential hazards and following the outlined safety tips.


   SOME TYPES OF FIRE RELATED                   Thoroughly clean the spill and        GAS SAFETY
   HAZARDS PRESENT DURING AND                   place containers in a well-           s Smell and listen for leaky gas
   AFTER A WINTER STORM                         ventilated area.                        connections. If you believe there
   s   Alternative heating devices used     s   Keep combustible liquids away           is a gas leak, immediately leave
       incorrectly create fire hazards.         from heat sources.                      the house and leave the door(s)
                                                                                        open.
   s   Damaged or downed utility lines
       can present a fire and life safety   ELECTRICAL SAFETY                         s   Never strike a match. Any size
       hazard.                              s   If your home has sustained flood          flame can spark an explosion.
   s   Water damaged appliances and             or water damage, and you can          s   Before turning the gas back on,
       utilities can be electrically            safely get to the main breaker or         have the gas system checked by a
       charged.                                 fuse box, turn off the power.             professional.
   s   Frozen water pipes can burst and     s   Assume all wires on the ground
                                                are electrically charged. This        GENERATOR SAFETY
       cause safety hazards.
                                                includes cable TV feeds.              s   Follow the manufacturer’s instruc-
   s   Leaking gas lines, damaged or
                                            s   Look for and replace frayed or            tions and guidelines when using
       leaking gas propane containers,
                                                cracked extension and appliance           generators.
       and leaking vehicle gas tanks may
       explode or ignite.                       cords, loose prongs, and plugs.       s   Use a generator or other fuel-
                                            s   Exposed outlets and wiring could          powered machines outside the
   s   Generators are often used during
                                                present a fire and life safety haz-       home. CO fumes are odorless
       power outages. Generators that
                                                ard.                                      and can quickly overwhelm you
       are not properly used and main-
                                                                                          indoors.
       tained can be hazardous.             s   Appliances that emit smoke or
                                                sparks should be repaired or
   CHEMICAL SAFETY                              replaced.
   s   Look for combustible liquids like    s   Have a licensed electrician check
       gasoline, lighter fluid, and paint       your home for damage.
       thinner that may have spilled.




   August, 1998
s   Use the appropriate sized and              Ensure they have the proper floor
    type power cords to carry the              support and adequate ventilation.
    electric load. Overloaded cords        s   Use a glass or metal screen in
    can overheat and cause fires.              front of your fireplace to prevent
s   Never run cords under rugs or              sparks from igniting nearby car-
    carpets where heat might build up          pets, furniture or other com-
    or damage to a cord may go                 bustible items.
    unnoticed.
s   Never connect generators to            AND REMEMBER...
    another power source such as           s   Be careful when using candles.
    power lines. The reverse flow of           Keep the flame away from com-
    electricity or "backfeed" can elec-        bustible objects and out of the
    trocute an unsuspecting utility            reach of children.
    worker.
                                           s   Some smoke alarms may be
HEATING SAFETY                                 dependent on your home’s electri-
                                               cal service and could be inopera-
s   Kerosene heaters may not be legal          tive during a power outage.
    in your area and should only be            Check to see if your smoke alarm
    used where approved by authori-            uses a back-up battery and install
    ties.                                      a new battery at least once a year.
s   Do not use the kitchen oven range      s   Smoke alarms should be installed
    to heat your home. In addition to          on every level of your home.
    being a fire hazard, it can be a
                                           s   All smoke alarms should be tested
    source of toxic fumes.
                                               monthly. All batteries should be
s   Alternative heaters need their             replaced with new ones at least
    space. Keep anything com-                  once a year.
    bustible at least 3 feet away.
                                           s   If there is a fire hydrant near your
s   Make sure your alternative heaters         home, keep it clear of debris for
    have "tip switches." These "tip            easy access by the fire department.
    switches" are designed to auto-
    matically turn off the heater in the
    event they tip over.
s   Only use the type of fuel recom-
    mended by the manufacturer and
    follow suggested guidelines.
s   Never refill a space heater while it                                              FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
    is operating or still hot.
                                                                                      The United States Fire Administration
s   Refuel heaters only outdoors.
                                                                                      Office of Fire Management Programs
s   Make sure wood stoves are prop-                                                   16825 South Seton Avenue
    erly installed, and at least 3 feet                                               Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
    away from combustible materials.
                                                                                      Or visit the USFA web site:
                                                                                      www.usfa.fema.gov




August, 1998