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Be Fire Safe PA

The Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) provides important year-round and seasonal fire prevention information to help Pennsylvanians stay safe and healthy.

Explore the below information to Be Fire Safe PA!

Summertime Fire Prevention and Safety

Summer is here! As we enjoy the season, we also need to take a moment to think about how we can all be more fire safe.

With the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures, we’re sharing seasonal fire safety tips to help you stay fire safe in your backyard while enjoying the warm weather.

Cooking outdoors safely:

  • Summer is the season of cookouts; grills should be checked for rust, insects, spiders, grease and other debris before use. 
  • Worn gas hoses should be replaced. 

  • Likewise, firepits should be properly maintained and operated away from dead leaves and other flammable debris. 

  • Never grill indoors, in a garage, breezeway or carport.  Grills should only be used 10 feet away from your house or any building. 

A word (or Two) on Fireworks Safety:

  • Even legal fireworks can cause injury and property damage if they’re not used properly. 
  • Always have a competent adult in charge and never give fireworks to young children; even sparklers. 
  • Do not attempt to reignite fireworks that failed to light the first time; allow it to stand for 20 minutes and then submerge it in water.  Dispose outside in a covered trash can. 
  • Under no circumstances should you aim or throw fireworks at another person. 
  • Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks and only light one at a time. 
  • Only buy legal consumer fireworks from a licensed store, stand, or tent.  These products typically have brightly colored labels with the manufacturers name, directions and safety warning printed on them. 

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Pool Chemical Safety
:

  • Pool chlorinating products are generally safe when handled correctly.  Make sure to follow all the safety rules at the pool and follow the instructions for handling all pool chemicals. 
  • Many pool chemicals are strong oxidizers.  While not combustible on their own, if exposed to a fire, pool chemicals can drastically increase its intensity. 
  • Always wear personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, goggles) when handling pool chemicals.  Pool chemicals will cause irritation to the skin and eyes, and fumes can make breathing difficult. 
  • Store all pool chemicals in temperature-controlled environments and away from public access, direct sunlight, and water.
  • More pool chemical safety resources and other tips for “healthy pool usage,” are available, here. 

Year-Round Fire Safety

Have a Plan and Practice It

Do you know what to do in the event your home catches fire? Does your family? This knowledge is critical to ensure everyone’s safety. From the moment a smoke alarm sounds, you and your loved ones may have just 2 minutes to respond, according to NFPA. 

Take the time to develop an evacuation plan. Families should have a designated meeting place a safe distance from their home, for instance, a mailbox. Everyone should be able to identify to points of escape from each room in the house. Its also a good idea to practice one’s emergency plan under challenging conditions, like when it is dark.

Make sure the kids understand how and when to dial 9-1-1. (They should also know their home’s physical address.) Teach them the stop, drop, and roll method for extinguishing fire, and when practicing one’s escape plan, teach them to crawl to avoid smoke.

Don’t forget about older adults. These individuals often have unique health challenges or mobility issues that make evacuation burdensome. Unsurprisingly, home fire fatalities disproportionately affect older adults.

Check Your Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers

Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are vital to ensuring your family’s safety. Test these devices frequently (at least once a month) and replace any batteries when needed. 

If you have fire extinguishers in your home, they should be routinely checked to make sure they’re fully charged, and within their expiration dates.

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Homes should be equipped with CO detectors. Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed.

The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death

Learn More

To learn more about fire prevention and safety, visit these websites: