Spring Fire Safety Tips From The Wilmington Fire Department

Below is an announcement from the Wilmington Senior Center in the latest Buzzell Buzz newsletter:

A Message From Lt. Ryan Quigley Of The Wilmington Fire Department

Spring is just around the corner. The days are getting longer and warm weather is on the way! As we move from being cooped up inside to spending time outside, it is important to keep fire safety in mind. The following fire safety tips should be used to help keep your home safe as you do your spring cleaning around the house.

Check the smoke alarms in your house. Working smoke alarms are the first line of defense in alerting residents of a fire. Working smoke alarms will detect smoke while a fire is still in the incipient (growth) stage and give residents time to evacuate before the fire grows too big. Check the smoke alarms to ensure that they are less than 10 years old (the date they were made is stamped on the back of the device). Any devices over 10 years old need to be replaced. Change the batteries and use the test button on the alarm to make sure they will work properly in the event of a fire. If you have separate carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, they should be tested and have the batteries changed as well.

Check and clean your dryer exhaust piping. Dryer exhaust piping can get filled with highly flammable lint over time. This restricts the air flow coming out of the dryer and can create a fire hazard due to the high flammability of the lint. Exhaust piping with lots of lint buildup should be replaced. Outside of your house, ensure the exhaust vent from your dryer is working properly, free of any built up lint and not covered with snow or other debris. Gasoline is used in many of the pieces of equipment we use to take care of the outside of our houses. Lawnmowers and leaf blowers are two examples of gas powered equipment. Make sure that gasoline is ALWAYS stored in a shed or detached garage. NEVER bring gasoline into your house. Gasoline should also be stored in a container specifically designed to hold  gasoline and the container should be fully closed when not being used to fuel up equipment. Ensure the gasoline container is in good shape and free from damage. If you are questioning the condition of your gasoline container, it’s much safer to just replace it. NEVER use gasoline for any other reason other than as fuel for your equipment. Don’t use it to clean up sticky messes. Spring also gives us the opportunity to take out our grills and start cooking outside again. Before using your grill, take the time to make sure it is still in good working condition. Clean the inside of your grill for any grease buildup or old food that could burn and catch fire. Also carefully inspect inside your grill for any nests or spider webs that may have been built during winter. For gas grills, check the hose from your propane tank to the burners to ensure it is not damaged. Make sure the burners are free of debris and all of the holes are not obstructed to allow proper gas flow. Make sure your propane tank is free of any damage.

Fire safety is always important to keep in mind but often gets overlooked. For more information about fire safety during the spring (or any time of year), you can visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at http://www.NFPA.org, the Massachusetts Department of Fire Service’s website at https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-fire-services or contact the Wilmington Fire Department’s non-emergency number at 978-658-3346.

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