Safety Spot

By Jim Buell, Assistant Chief Shelburne Fire Department

As we begin a new year, a lot of us make resolutions and just like the spring, this time of year gets us thinking of things we need to do.   How about making some New Year safety resolutions?

Here are some ideas that you may wish to implement as we begin this new year!

  • Develop and practice, or pull out of the drawer your family’s home escape plan.
  • Purchase new batteries or better yet, new CO and smoke detectors for your home. Detectors have a seven-year shelf life; how old are yours?
  • Make sure all combustible items are cleared away from your wood stove or fireplace.
  • Purchase a small metal trash can to put the ashes in when cleaning out your wood stove or fireplace so that they are stored properly. Never put ashes in a paper bag or cardboard box and place it in your garage to “take care of later.”
  • Schedule to have your chimney inspected and cleaned.
  • Make sure you have winter safety equipment in your car; snow tires, snow brush, blanket, water, snacks, small shovel, anything you think you would need if you became stranded along the highway.
  • Help out the highway department and especially the Fire Department and shovel out any fire hydrants near your home.
  • Check the vents for your furnace and make sure they are not clogged, and keep snow away from them so that your furnace vents properly and CO does not build up.
  • Keep matches and lighters in safe containers and make sure that when you use a candle it is in a holder that will not tip over.   Make sure to extinguish that candle upon exiting the room in which you are using the candle.
  • Purchase fresh batteries for your flashlight in case the power goes out.
  • Avoid slip hazards and have some kind of material (kitty litter, salt, sand) near your driveway or sidewalk.
  • Purchase a reflective number sign from the department website and install those numbers on your mailbox or somewhere close to the road so that we can find you.

There are a lot of things that can be done; I’ve only touched on a few here to get you thinking of things to do to make 2017 a safe year. Implement your resolutions and remember….

Fire Prevention/Safety isn’t just one week of the year, but all 52!

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