A p a r t m e n t SAFETY NOTES SPOKANE FIRE DEPARTMENT JANUARY 2011 DETECTOR Do some research on CO detectors so that the units you select will be a good match for tenants, budget and buildings. Before UPDATES purchase, check to see what the manufacturer’s recommendations are in terms of placement. WA code will require CO alarms “outside each separate sleeping area in the vicinity of the bedroom.” Some The Washington State Building Code Council detectors are installed as plug-ins near the has issued an updated schedule for requiring floor. Others require a ceiling mount. carbon monoxide detectors in new and existing residential units. While smoke detectors must be replaced • By 1/1/11, CO alarms must be installed in all every 10 years, carbon monoxide detectors new residential occupancies where an attached garage or fuel-fired heat source is typically last only 5 to 7 years. Replacement present. dates should be indicated on the packaging. • By 1/1/13, CO alarms must be installed in To track the life expectancy of each unit, it is existing dwelling units in apartments, single- wise to mark the expected replacement date family residential units that are rented, on the back of every CO alarm. motels and hotels where an attached garage or fuel-fired heat source is present. It will also be important to teach your tenants about the function of the CO alarm and how Carbon monoxide is often referred to as “the to replace batteries as needed. CO alarms silent killer” because the gas has no taste, color that cost a bit more have LED screens or odor. Symptoms of low-level CO poisoning indicating the amount of CO in the air. These (i.e. shortness of breath, mild nausea and are a good investment because they provide headache) can be confused with food an immediate indicator of the extent of CO poisoning or the flu. Even moderate levels of toxins in the room. If the detector shows 9 CO exposure can cause death if headaches, parts or more of CO per million parts of dizziness, and nausea are ignored until the oxygen, residents must evacuate. person is unable to respond. While statistics tend to focus on the number of persons who The simplest advice: when a CO alarm are hospitalized or die from CO exposure each sounds, the tenant should exit the home and year, there is less awareness of the long-term call 9-1-1. The Fire Department will respond effects of CO poisoning. Memory loss, with testing equipment and may recommend cognition problems, personality and behavioral a follow-up call to the landlord for furnace or changes as well as impaired coordination and vision can last for years. continued other repairs. We are fortunate to have the technology in CO alarms needed to detect “the silent killer” before more lives are impaired or lost! DISHWASHER WOES (For more information on CO detectors, refer to our January 2010 edition of the Apartment Newsletter at www.spokanefire.org under Prevention.) New YEAR, New RESOLUTIONS Too many tenants fail to recognize the benefit of Renter’s Insurance until they face a major loss. One way to welcome this New Year is to encourage every tenant to invest in themselves by contacting their insurance agent and setting aside about $15 to cover a monthly renter’s insurance premium. Remind tenants how to best extinguish a kitchen grease fire Many renters mistakenly believe that their by putting a lid over the pan and turning off the heat. Studies conducted by the NFPA and US Fire Administration landlord’s insurance will cover any of the tenant’s Recommend that tenants always keep a lid and a box of baking show that: The December your at soda handy whenever they cook with grease. Whilefire oldera Spokane Valley personal losses from fire. They also may be be aware of this simple information, many teen and •Unattended cooking is the tenants may young adult cooks have no idea Station reminded Fire all leading factor unaware of their own liability if they accidentallyreach for water! how to extinguish a grease fire ussingle of the contributing and may even to home fires. cause damage that impacts other tenants. One importance of periodically checking the •Males face disproportionate risk Keep grills a safe distance from siding, eaves, woodenSafety Commission’s Spokane renter without renter’s insurance and overhanging Consumer Product for of a cooking fire injury relative to decks recently branches. Although grills account recall site propane grills on the the amount of cooking they do. discovered this hard fact when presentedawith portion of cooking-related fires,at www.cpsc.gov. In the case of only small a decks of multi-family residences can dramatically accelerate any •More than 50% of home $410,000 bill for fire losses! cooking Bosch and the firefighters, over 476,000 injuries occur when fire that starts on the exterior of a building. Siemens dishwashers manufactured fire Investigate new technology that addresses the problem of people try to fight the themselves. Resolve to have a simple handout on renter’s between May 1999 and July 2005 were cooking fires. If you have tenants who are part of the “higher- •Although gas grills are used as be interested college students or senior insurance as you welcome each new tenantyou will fire” groups ofto learn more about the CookStop risk-for-cooking- citizens, times electrical becauseas are as recalled in January 2009about 1.5grills, theyofteninvolved charcoal device of the well as an annual reminder to every tenantthat monitors movement in the kitchen and shuts off the components could overheat. In addition, in 5 times as many fires. Notwhen the cook leaves the room value of renter’s insurance coverage. stove more at www.cookstop.com. or falls asleep. You can learn many nearly 2 million other dishwashers were •More than one-third of belongings can be replaced with the $120 to $200 residential cooking-fire fatalities recalled in 2010 for electrical failures in were On a related note, Spokane Fire Department Prevention occurred while the victims “saved” in annual renter’s insurance premiums! the opportunity to witness the effectiveness of the sleeping. personnel had The heating elements. pot of brands include TM Safe-T-element at a 2009 presentation in Spokane. A water was kept boiling on Maytag, Amana, Jenn-Aire, Magic Chef, a hot plate fitted with Safe-T-elements. A piece of ordinary paper placed on the element and under the Admiral and hours, You pot of water was slightly scorched after several GE. but was can find model not burned. The Safe-T-element TM replaces the regular element numbers, photos and recall remedies at on stovetops. It is more energy-efficient than a regular burner You can sign up for this monthly newsletter, askita the CPSC website under Product Type / because allows more even warming at a lower temperature. It safety topic ﬁre-related question or suggest a speciﬁc actually prevents stovetop fires because it automatically shuts Dishwasher. Safety or by contacting Jan Doherty at email@example.com at 370 C or 698 F.) Formaximum of 350 Con the stove off when temperatures reach a Tip: Don’t put the o o 662 F. (Oil ignites o o more information or by calling 625-7058. dishwasher on this device how the U.S. Navy has studied the effectiveness of before going to sleep or leaving the house or on base housing, go to www.wsafc.org/Lists/NewsArticles/ fire station! Access this edition of Apartment Safety Notes as well as DispForm.aspx?ID=2. back issues at www.spokanefire.org under “Prevention”. Be sure to visit our website at our website at Be sure to visit www.spokaneﬁre.org www.spokaneﬁre.org There you will Facebook, There you will ﬁnd links to our blog,ﬁnd links to our blog, Facebook, Twitter Twitter and YouTube pages! and YouTube pages!