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North Haven Fire Department Reminds Residents of Spring Home Safety Tips

NORTH HAVEN — Chief Paul Januszewski and the North Haven Fire Department would like to provide some seasonal safety tips for residents given approaching warmer weather and the fact that many people are following the stay-at-home advisory during the COVID-19 health crisis.

“As spring rolls around and the cold weather fades, people often begin to clean out their homes and garages,” said Chief Januszewski. “The North Haven Fire Department asks residents to take a few moments during their spring cleaning to remove any potential fire and other safety hazards. Removing old cleaning products or electrical cords are easy ways to help prevent an accident from occurring.”

Spring Cleaning Safety Tips

  • Clean your garage, basement or other storage areas of stored newspapers or other rubbish that can fuel a fire.
  • Clean lint filters every time before using your dryer. Also check the outside exhaust vent for any lint that may be obscuring or blocking the vent.
  • Keep outdoor debris or dead vegetation away from the house.
  • Properly dispose of oily or greasy rags. If these items must be stored, they should be kept in labeled, sealed, metal containers.
  • If you store gasoline for lawn mowers, keep it outside your home in a shed or detached garage. Keep only small quantities in tightly sealed containers. Use gasoline only as a motor fuel – never as a cleaning agent.
  • Use outdoor barbecue grills with caution. Place them in a safe area away from buildings, windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning units or places with high/dead vegetation.
  • Use barbecue grills outside only – not under overhangs or balconies, and away from combustibles.
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire, and don’t add charcoal lighter fluid once the fire has started.
  • Check your propane barbecue grill hose for leaks and cracks; never store propane indoors.
  • Do not mix ammonia with bleach. When cleaning with chemicals be sure to open a window or door to ventilate the room you are cleaning.
  • Keep all chemicals and cleaning products out of reach from children and ensure they are properly labeled.

Check Smoke Detectors

  • If you didn’t check your smoke detectors during Daylight Saving last month, now would be a good time to replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month using the test button. Replace alarms immediately if they don’t respond properly when tested.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they reach 10 years old. Replace CO detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay in that spot until emergency personnel arrive.
  • Develop and practice a home escape plan with all members of the household.

If you have any additional questions on fire safety or prevention, contact the North Haven Fire Department at 203-239-5321.

As always, if you have an emergency, call 911.