This week (October 7-13) is Fire Prevention Week.  Every year about the same time the week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that nearly wiped the city of Chicago from existence.  From that fire grew the realization that keeping the public informed about fire safety and prevention would be the best way to remember the lives lost and the bravery of those who fought the conflagration.

This year the theme of Fire Prevention Week is “Have 2 Ways Out”.  The focus is on planning ahead – develop a plan for two or more escape routes from your home in the event of a fire and practice them. For all the customers, friends and neighbors of Waldo General we cannot emphasize enough the importance of practicing good fire safety.  Here is a checklist of the most common safety tips around your home:


Ø Smoking

o Make sure cigarettes aren’t burning when disposed of; use ashtrays

o Smoke outside instead of in the house

o DO NOT smoke while using oxygen, it is flammable and helps fire burn

o Don’t smoke in bed, it could catch on fire if you fall asleep


Ø Heaters

o Don’t place space heaters within 3 ft. of flammable materials

o Don’t drape anything over floor heaters or space heaters

o Keep the area around water heater clear


Ø Fireplaces

o Make sure they have a screen

o Keep flammable things away from them

o If using for heat overnight, the above two safety suggestions are a must


Ø Cooking

o Keep flammable objects away from hot stovetop

o Don’t leave cooking unattended, keep pot handles turned in

o Don’t store flammable things in the oven such as papers and files

o Don’t wear sleeves that could catch on fire, or at least roll them up

o Never throw water on a grease fire…use baking soda or flour, or put a lid on it to smother the fire out


Ø Electrical

o Don’t overload electrical outlets: 1 plug to 1 outlet.

o Don’t run cords under rugs or carpet

o Replace frayed cords and wires


Ø Smoke Alarm

o Have at least one on every floor of your home

o Test at least once a month

o Replace batteries at least once a year (when you change your clock back)


Ø Fire Preparedness

o Have an escape plan with at least two ways out in the event of a fire, practice getting to a meeting place with the whole family

o Keep hallways and exits clear so you can get out easily and quickly

o Once out, DO NOT go back in for any reason, then call 9-1-1

o Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children

For more information visit the National Fire Protection Association pages on fire safety:

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