One of the largest issues we encounter is not being able to quickly identify which house we need to go to. Luckily it is easy for you to make your house number highly visible. The town of Willington Parks and Recreation Department offers reflective address markers for only $12 and can be purchased through the town's website located here.
Working smoke alarms detect and alert you when the fire is in its early stages and cut the risk of dying from a fire in half. There should be a smoke alarm in every sleeping room, outside every sleeping area (such as a living room) and on every level of the home. If there are people with hearing disabilities ensure you have smoke alarms with strobe alarms and/or bed vibrators to ensure they wake up. It is recommended to test alarms once a month using the test button, change the batteries at least twice a year, and replace any detectors 10 years old and older. One easy way to remember to do this is when you change your clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall replace the batteries. Currently, Willington Fire Department has 9-volt batteries that we will give to any citizen that would like them. All you need to do is stop by station 13 and ask for some.
Planing and practicing
So the smoke alarm is going off, now what? Does your family have a plan on how to evacuate the house and know where to go once you are outside? To create an effective plan simply draw a map of each level of your home showing all doors and windows. Go to each room and point the two ways out. Make sure someone will help children, the elderly, and people with disabilities wake up and get out. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Establish a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting. This location should be a safe location near a road but far enough away that you will be out of the way of incoming fire apparatus.
Cooking is one of the largest causes of house fires with Thanksgiving as the most common day for fires involving cooking equipment. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. As such it is always recommended that you stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food and when you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, make sure you check it regularly and stay at home. Lastly, always keep anything flammable away from your stovetop.
Heat equipment is another large cause of house fires especially during winter months with space heaters being a large contributor. It is recommended to keep a 3 foot (1 meter) area around all open fires and space heaters child, pet, and object free. It is also recommended to only use qualified tested space heaters and have qualified personal install heating equipment.
Lastly, if you have a chimney, ensure they are cleaned at a minimum once a year by a qualified professional. The chimney may need to be cleaned more frequently if you burn a large amount of wood.