12 Days of Holiday Safety: Day 2 = Gifts of Safety

December 16, 2013

Shopping season is in full swing, and if your holiday tradition includes gifts, time is short. After reviewing call volume from 2013, the City of Madison Fire Department has some last-minute gift suggestions for safety-minded shoppers:
Renters Insurance – After a year that saw major fires in multi-unit housing, the MFD reminds renters that insurance is an important investment to speed recovery from a fire. The majority of tenants affected by apartment fires do not have this insurance, often believing that they are covered by the property owner’s insurance. Property insurance covers only the building, not the contents belonging to the occupants. Often, renters insurance can be purchased for around $100 or less per year.
Fireproof Safe – Many household items are easily replaced after a fire, but photos and personal documents can be more difficult. A small fireproof, waterproof safe can make the difference and keep your important documents intact, making recovery from disaster a far simpler process.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm – The State of Wisconsin now requires carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in all residential housing. The MFD responds to numerous alarms each year due to CO detectors with low batteries or alarms that are outdated. CO alarms have a relatively short useable life and should be replaced every 5 years.
Smoke Alarm – A working smoke alarm is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to protect yourself and your family from fire. The City of Madison requires smoke alarms with a 10-year battery in a tamper-resistant alarm unit. 9-volt batteries are no longer used UNLESS they are being used as a battery back-up to a hard-wired alarm.
The ordinance requires alarms:

  • In each bedroom
  • In each sleeping area
  • Within six feet of each door leading to a bedroom or sleeping area of each unit
  • On each floor of the building

Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
Lighting – Night lights and brighter lighting during the day are recommended for preventing falls. Some night lights go on by themselves after dark.
Kitchen Timer – The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended/careless cooking. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Tomorrow: Day 3 – Winter Safety

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