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State Fire Marshal offers holiday safety tips

December 2nd, 2013 by WCBC Radio

State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci reminds all Marylanders to check for fire safety where they live, where they work and even where they attend classes, trainings and meetings.  “Fire and life safety is everyone’s responsibility; by testing smoke alarms and CO detectors, keeping exits clear of obstructions, and maintaining fire alarms and fire sprinkler systems, we can all avoid injury or death from the effects of fire,” stated the State Fire Marshal.


          To ensure your best chances of surviving a fire, the State Fire Marshal offers the following tips on both escaping a fire and preventing one to begin with.


  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are working properly. Remember, the effects of toxic smoke and gases can quickly overcome your ability to think clearly.  Every second counts when escaping the ingredients of fire.
  • Check exits from both your home and any place you go to ensure you will be able to get to safety.  Blocked exits resulting from improperly placed chairs, tables or even holiday decorations can result in the delay of getting out quickly and safely.  Be vigilant of these safety concerns whether at church, school or even your local favorite eatery.
  • When using portable unvented fuel-fired heaters, such as kerosene heaters, make sure to use only the recommended fuel specified in the owner’s manual and NEVER use gasoline.  Note: Portable kerosene heaters are banned for use in Baltimore City.
  • If you find it necessary to use an electric space heater, use only one that has been approved by an authorized testing laboratory such as UL.
  • Keep all portable space heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible.
  • If heating equipment fails, do not use kitchen stoves or ovens to supply heat.  These devices are not designed for that purpose and the chance of a fire improves greatly.


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