The Casa Grande Fire Prevention Department believes that safety in the home is very important. Prevention is the first step in fire & life safety. Click on the following links below to view the safety tips.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- DO check your property regularly for bee colonies. Honey bees nest in a wide variety of places, especially Africanized honey bees. Check animal burrows, water meter boxes, overturned flower pots, trees and shrubs.
- DO keep pets and children indoors when using weed eaters, hedge clippers, tractor power mowers, chain saws, etc. An attack frequently occurs when a person is mowing the lawn or pruning shrubs and inadvertently strikes a bee’s nest.
- DO avoid excessive motion when near a colony. Bees are much more likely to respond to an object in motion than a stationary one.
- DON’T pen, tie or tether animals near bee hives or nests.
- DON’T destroy bee colonies or hive, especially with pesticides. Honey bees are a vital link to U.S. agriculture. Each year, pollination by honey bees adds at least $10 billion to the value of more than 90 crops. They also produce about $150 million worth of honey each year.
- DON’T remove bees yourself. If you want bees removed, look in the yellow pages under “bee removal” or “beekeepers”.
What to do if you are attacked:
1. Run as quickly as you can away from the bees. Do not flail or swing your arms at them, as this may further annoy them.
2. Because bees target the head and eyes, cover your head as much as you can without slowing your escape.
3. Get to the shelter or closest house or car as quickly as possible. Don’t worry if a few bees become trapped in your home. If several bees follow you into your car, drive about a quarter of a mile and let the bees out of the car.
When to call the Fire Department:
Call the fire department only when emergency medical services are needed. If someone has been stung by many bees at once or has an allergic reaction to a bee sting, call 9-1-1. Call the fire department if someone has become trapped in a building or car with lots of bees. Fire trucks are equipped with foam that can be sprayed on the bees to drown them. DO NOT call the fire department to remove bee colonies or hives. If you would like to get the bees removed, you can call for a local bee keeper, or an exterminator.
About Your Smoke Alarm
A smoke alarm is a device that detects smoke and sounds an alarm to alert people nearby that there is a potential fire. All smoke alarms are pretty much similar in their function, but may vary slightly by manufacturer.
Because smoke rises, alarms should be mounted on the ceiling. To avoid the nuisance of false alarms, we will not be installing any alarms in the kitchen. We will not be installing an alarm in the bathroom since moisture can set off a false alarm, or cause damage to the alarm. To increase the chances of waking sleeping occupants, we will install one smoke alarm in every bedroom and in the hall ways as needed.
Testing Your Batteries
The smoke alarms have a 9 volt battery, which should be tested at least once a month. You can test the alarm by pressing the test button in the front. This will sound an alarm which lets you know that it is functioning properly. The alarm will stop as soon as you release the button.
If the battery is low, the alarm will begin to chirp at intervals, which indicates that the battery must be replaced. Should the battery run out, the smoke alarm will become inactive.
Replacing Your Battery
The batteries should be replaced once a year. Pick a certain day out of the year to replace your batteries. Such as New Years Day, a birthday, or daylight saving time, this will help ensure that you will not forget. It is necessary to replace all your batteries at the same time to insure appropriate protection.
Rechargeable batteries should never be used in smoke Alarms, since most rechargeable batteries have a short life between charges. The battery may transition from “charge” to “dead” so quickly, the low battery warning from the alarm is either very brief, or may not occur at all.
Never remove a battery from the smoke alarm without replacing it with a new one. Alarms with missing batteries will not function.
Should you have any questions, please contact the Fire Prevention Officer at 520-421-8777.
Every Home or Office Should Have a Fire Extinguisher
It’s something that we don’t use every day, and it might just hang on the wall collecting dust. But it only takes one opportunity for a fire to ignite and burn down your home. A fire extinguisher could mean the matter between life and death.
In order to understand how a fire extinguisher works, we must first know how a fire works. There are 3 basic sides to a fire triangle: Heat, fuel, and air. You get rid of one of these elements, and the fire is out. The fire extinguisher is designed to remove one of the 3 elements. It acts as a blanket and smothers the fire. With the air removed, the fire dies out.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
There are 3 basic types of fire extinguishers commonly used in the home. Consider having one or more fire extinguishers in the home. There are three ratings:
“A” rated extinguishers are for wood and paper products.
“B” rated extinguishers are for flammable liquids and grease fires.
“C” rated extinguishers are for electrical fires. For your home we recommend you get an extinguisher rated “ABC” to cover all your bases.
Fire extinguishers come in all shapes and sizes. Before purchasing a fire extinguisher, make sure that it is not too heavy for you to lift. Learn how to use it; there are instructions on the extinguisher. You can also take a fire extinguisher class from your local fire department. An easy way to remember how to use an extinguisher is to remember the P.A.S.S. Method.
Pull the pin
Aim at the base of the fire
Squeeze the handle
Sweep side to side
Maintenance of your fire extinguisher
- Make sure that your extinguisher is not blocked by equipment or objects that can hinder access in an emergency.
- The pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge (such as that shown on the left) that means the needle should be in the green zone – not too high and not too low.
- The pin and tamper seal should be intact. Make sure there are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits and other signs of abuse/wear. Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil, gunk etc. that may have landed on the extinguisher.
- Fire extinguishers should be pressure tested (a process called hydrostatic testing) after a number of years to ensure that the cylinder is safe to use. Consult your owner’s manual, extinguisher label or the manufacturer to see when yours may need such testing.
- If the extinguisher is damaged or needs recharging, get it replaced immediately!
- Extinguishers should be placed near an exit and away from heat sources.
- Check the extinguishers once a month to see if they’re properly charged.
- Only attempt to put out the fire if it is small, the size of a small trash can, and you feel you can control the flames use your extinguisher.
- Keep an exit to your back.
- You have just a few seconds to put out the fire. If after using your extinguisher the fire doesn’t die down, get away from danger at once!! Get out!
- Do not stop to get anything. Do not call for help from your home.
- Call 911 from a neighbors’ house.
For more information or to sign up for a class, please contact the Fire Prevention Officer at 520-421-8777.
Electrical Safety Tips
- Use light bulbs that are the proper wattage for your lamp or lighting fixture. A wrong type or too high wattage may lead to overheating and cause a fire.
- Never go to sleep with an electric heating pad turned on.
- Extension cords should be used on a temporary basis as they are not safe to use as a permanent household wiring. Make sure that the cord is not wrapped around another object.
- Only use extension cords that have been listed by recognized certification organization such as Underwriters Laboratory.
- Never overload an electrical outlet.
- Use plastic safety caps in all unused wall outlets. This will keep children from pushing objects into outlet openings.
- Most power tools and major appliances have three prongs for safety. Never remove the third prong from a three prong plug. If you don’t have three hole outlets, adapters are available at your local hardware store or home supply center.
- Check all appliances to make sure all cords are in good condition. Repair or replace damaged or brittle electrical cords.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters to protect yourself from shock. These special outlets prevent electric shock. They detect electrical faults and shut off electricity to the outlet when necessary. They are especially important in kitchens, bathrooms, and other places where water is present.
- Use electrical cords properly. To avoid damaging cords, remove them from outlets by pulling on the plug, not the cord itself. Never attach a cord to another surface with nails or staples, which can break the insulation. Avoid kinking, twisting, binding, or walking on cords. Never place cords under a rug or carpet.
- Safely reset your circuit breakers and replace blown fuses. Use the correct fuse size for your fuse box. Replacing a fuse with the wrong size can be a fire hazard.
- Water and electricity don’t mix. Keep all electrical products and cords, such as radios, televisions, hair dryers, and curling irons away from water.
- Never reach into water to get an appliance that has fallen in without first unplugging the appliance.
- Unplug the toaster or toaster oven before using a knife or fork to remove a stick slice of bread or bagel.
- Check the electrical rating on appliance and extension cords. Do not plug one extension cord into another unless they are the same rating.
- Keep all electrical cords out of sight so that children and pets won’t pull appliances off tables or counters.
- When using electrical products outside, make sure that they are weather-resistant heavy gauge extension cords marked for outdoor use.
- Amp ratings can vary based on the electrical product you are using outside. Be sure that the amperage rating for outdoor extension cords are higher than those electrical products.
- Outdoor electrical equipment should be turned off when being carried or hooked up to attachments, such as mower baskets.
- Contact your local electric utility before you trim or cut down trees that are near overhead power lines.
- Never try to repair electrical products yourself unless you are a qualified electrician.
- Check with your electric utility before digging. Make sure you know the location of buried electrical lines even in your back yard. Call Blue Stake before you dig. 800-STAKE-IT.
- Keep cords out of your path or work area. Always know where the cord is located at all times.
- Use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter between your electric power source and your electric product. A GFCI can cut off power in less than a second in case of a mishap.
- Make sure all your outdoor outlets are waterproof and covered.
- Select a dry day to power up electrical equipment or power tools outdoors.
For further information contact your local electric company.
Safety Tips to Guard Against Dryer Fires
In 2005, more than 7,500 people across the United States were injured in clothes dryer fires. Fires which occurred because lint built up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct, flammable items were put in the dryers such as foam-backed rugs or athletic shoes, lack of maintenance, and improper installation like the use of plastic ducts or vinyl and foil venting that collapse when installed.
Here are some safety tips to guard against dryer fires:
- Clean the lint filter before and after each load
- Check the outside exhaust while the dryer is operating to make sure air is escaping normally — look for kinks or signs of crushing
- Clean behind the dryer where lint can build up
- Take special care with drying clothes that have been soiled with volatile chemicals like gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, finishing oils and stains.
Do not leave the house with the dryer running!
Older Adults Safety Tips
Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the population. Approximately 13% of all Americans are over age 65. Statistically, persons in this age group are twice as likely to die a fire related death, than the general population. Persons age 75 and older are three times as likely to suffer a fire related death and persons age 85 and older are four times more likely. The three leading causes of home deaths among the older adult population are:
- Trips and falls in the home
- Fires caused by portable space heaters
- Smoking and cooking fires
Sixty percent of fatal falls in the older adult population occur in the home, and falls account for 87% of all bone fractures in the elderly.
Safety Around the Home:
- Have a working light outside your front and back doors
- Have emergency information readily available
- Clearly label all medicine
In Case of Fire:
- Know where the exits are
- Practice getting out safely
- Crawl low under smoke, if unable to crawl, stay as low as possible, and get out immediately
- Call 9-1-1 from a neighbor’s house
If Your Clothes Catch on Fire:
- Stop, drop and roll or smother the fire with a blanket, towel or rug
- If you get burned, seek medical attention
- Use a large non-tip ashtray
- Empty ashes often
- Dampen ashes before emptying into a garbage can
- Empty ashes into a metal container
- Do not smoke when using oxygen
- Do not smoke in bed
In the Bathroom:
- Use non-slip rugs
- Have a grab bar, rubber mats or non-slip strips in your tub or shower
- Do not have electronic items plugged-in where they could fall into water (like a bath-tub, shower or sink)
In the Kitchen:
- Keep lids near by when cooking
- If your pan catches on fire, carefully slide a lid on the pan and turn off the stove
- Wear clothes with short or close-fitting sleeves, when cooking
- If you leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off the stove
In the Living Room:
- Use electrical outlets whenever possible, not extension cords
- Extension cords should be used on a temporary basis and MUST be UL approved
- Use furniture with safe sturdy legs
- Keep the floor clear of obstacles, so trips and falls are avoided
In the Bedroom:
- Keep floor uncluttered to prevent trips and falls
- Keep house keys, eyeglasses, a flashlight and a telephone next to your bed
Concerns for Older Adults with Disabilities
Some of the alternative emergency recommendations for older adults with disabilities include:
- If a persons clothes catch on fire and the person is unable to “stop, drop and roll” to smother the flames, he or she can use a blanket, rug, towel, etc. to smother the flames
- In case of a fire not in the disabled persons apartment or in the nearby vicinity, or if the persons mobility is impaired and are unable to exit, the suggestion is to signal from a window by hanging a towel, sheet or rug near the window or shine a flashlight at the window
- If the person is able, put a rug, towel, sheet or blanket at the bottom of the door to help keep out the smoke
For more information and resources, visit our Remembering When page.
- When cooking it’s easy to get sidetracked and forget that you have something on the fire. The phone rings, the baby cries, there’s someone at the door, you walk away and forget until you hear the smoke alarm beeping, you see the smoke, and possibly even flames
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. Never leave the stove unattended. If you absolutely must leave, set a timer or take something with you to remind you that you are cooking, such as a spoon
- Cook on low heat whenever practical
- Wear appropriate clothing while around open-flame appliances or hot surfaces; loose-fitting long sleeved shirts or open jackets could come into contact with flames or hot surfaces
- Keep long hair up and confined. Avoid use of flammable hair spray
- Keep your stove clean of grease, including the hood above the stove. Grease-laden steam will deposit grease under the hood, and high heat can ignite the grease
- Keep exhaust fan on while cooking
- Keep pot-holders, oven mitts, and kitchen towels away from burners
- Make sure that kitchen curtains and other flammables are well away from burners
- Aim pot handles towards the center and away from traffic to prevent your elbow from knocking against the handle and spilling food, or even worse, hot oil or fat onto yourself or the burner
- Unplug electrical appliances when you leave the house. Never overload an electrical socket
- Mount a smoke alarm near, but not in, the kitchen
- Heat oil up gradually to prevent hot oil from splattering onto your skin or in your eyes. Never pour oil into a hot pan, because it can burst into flames within seconds. It is safer to pour oil into the pan before you turn on the burner
- Never put water on a grease fire. Water will not put out a grease fire, but cause hot oil to splatter and flames to grow. Keep a lid for your pan/pot nearby to put out the flames by taking away the air
- Place a rubber or non-slip mat on the floor. If your floor frequently gets wet from spilled liquids or oil, a rubber mat will keep your shoes from slipping on the liquid
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby
Stop, Drop, and Roll. If your clothing catches fire, remember, don’t run. Drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over until the fire goes out. Cool a Burn. The best first aid for burns is to run cool water over the burned area for 10 to 15 minutes. If a burn blisters or appears charred, get medical help immediately, call 911.
(Do not use home remedies on a burn. Putting butter, lard, mayonnaise, etc. on the burn can cause more damage. It acts as a blanket, keeping in the heat on the injured tissues, and infection can set in)
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer because you can’t see it, you can’t smell it, and you can’t taste it. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas. Any fuel that’s burning can produce carbon monoxide poisoning. Any fuel burning appliance in your home can cause CO. Gas heaters, water heater, fire place, a vehicle left running in a closed garage are a few examples of CO hazards in your home.
Initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu, but without the fever. These symptoms include: dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue, and irregular breathing. A good indicator that you may have carbon monoxide poisoning is if the symptoms are relieved when you go outside, but return when you go back inside. If you believe you may have carbon monoxide poisoning, remain outdoors, and call 911. “Carbon monoxide, 10 tips” flash video by clicking here.
Preventative measures that can be taken to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. CO alarms come in two types, electric plug in, and battery operated. Make sure the Alarm has working batteries if it is battery operate
- Test and vacuum once a month to prevent false alarms
- Do not install carbon monoxide alarms directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. An alarm should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms
- When using space heaters, keep at least 3 feet away from furniture, curtains, and out of the normal path of traffic.
- Keep space heaters away from bathtubs and other areas near water.
- Supervise children closely when space heaters are in use.
Wood Burning Stoves
- Make sure the unit is recognized by a national testing laboratory.
- Make sure the unit is installed according to local ordinances.
- Make sure the unit has adequate clearance from combustibles such as the wall, floor and furniture.
- Before installing the unit, contact your local fire department to determine if a permit is required.
- Inspect and clean the chimney regularly to prevent creosote. Creosote is a thick, oily liquid typically amber to black in color. Creosote vaporizes from the burning wood, floats up the exhaust pipe with other exhaust gases, and then condenses onto the cool interior lining of the chimney. Built up creosote could result in a chimney fire.
- Dispose of hot ashes in a metal container that is place on a noncombustible surface. Allow the ashes to cool for a couple of days before removing them from the container.
- Never leave the fire burning unattended. Always put the fire out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use a protective screen when burning a fire in the fireplace.
- Use only seasoned wood for burning a fire. Never use trash, or wrapping paper as it could result in a chimney or roof fire when debris gets stuck in the chimney or lands on the roof.
- Never use flammable liquids such as gasoline to light the fire, the vapors from these products can be extremely dangerous.
- Have chimneys cleaned and inspected every year.
Fire safety should be practiced throughout the year. Have a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Have a meeting place in case of a fire. Once you are out, stay out. Never go back inside for any reason. Call 911 from a neighbor’s phone.
Install a smoke alarm on every level, an alarm in every bedroom and hallway is preferable. Test your smoke alarms once a month. Vacuum any accumulated dust, as it can trigger a false alarm. A chirping smoke alarm indicates a low battery. Replace the batteries in all your smoke alarms. Batteries should be replaced once a year. Pick a date, such as a birthday or New Years Day, and replace the batteries.