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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday safety tips from the Milford Fire Department

The Milford Fire Department would like to possibly assist you with your holiday shopping

Need something for the person who you think has everything, or the people who are impossible to buy for every year? These ideas are not expensive, but can provide the precious gift of peace of mind. The other great thing is they are gifts that keep on giving long after the person receives them.

These suggested gift ideas come from the National Fire Protection Association and are endorsed by the Milford Fire Department.

Carbon monoxide detectors, these alert loved ones in the event that the silent killer carbon monoxide is present. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas formed when fuels don’t burn completely. Fuels include natural gas, propane, oil and burning equipment. Although not a fire safety device, it does protect the home where smoke detectors do not.

Smoke detectors, one of the best fire safety items for the home. Seventy percent of all deaths occurring in homes happen in residences that either do not have smoke detectors are they are not in working order. Consider a smoke detector for everyone on your list this holiday season. Most detectors have a ten year life cycle and many in our area have exceeded this time period and maybe ought to be replaced. For special needs individuals who are hard of hearing or hearing impaired some units now come equipped with strobe lights, high decibels are vibrate when they go into alarm.

The old standby “flashlight”, these prevent fire when used during power outages instead of candles.

If you are or someone you know uses candles, help prevent tip over’s when they are lit with a set of sturdy candle holders. Even better the lantern style candle holder can reduce the likelihood of something coming into contact with the flame of the candle.

For the person on your list who owns a fireplace, a secure fireplace screen which keeps embers from getting into the room. A box of long fireplace matches help prevent burns when igniting fuels.

What about a gift certificate for a cleanup service to come in and remove clutter that might be fire prone from basements, attics or yards. If that special purpose owns a fire place or wood stove maybe a gift certificate for a chimney cleaning to prevent creosote buildup that is a major cause of chimney fires.

On the more personal side, a bathrobe with tight fitting sleeves, that won’t touch stove burners while cooking. Or how about a down or synthetic comforter, flannel sheets or pajamas, these will keep your loved one warm and decrease the need for space or portable heaters, especially at night. In two-thirds of fire deaths blamed on home heating device the space heater (fixed or portable) were the cause.

Another item is fireproof oven mitts for both the stove and the barbecue. If someone you know smokes how about a large, deep, non tip ashtray, these help prevent smoking material from igniting nearby combustible items.

A portable fire extinguisher with instructions on its use in case the unspeakable happens, generally a multi-purpose dry chemical type is recommended.

Large house numbers to assist fire, police and EMS to locate a home quickly during an emergency, especially at night.

Batteries for the smoke detector or flashlight can make great stocking stuffers.

These items may not be at the top of everyone’s wish list, definitely not exciting, but can have a high reward factor if they save a life or prevent someone from getting injured.

Unfortunately, some eye opening facts regarding the holiday season and safety.

- December, January and February are the deadliest months for fires.

- The top 10 days for home fires in recent years were between December 24 and January 6.

- Cooking and heating fires are the leading causes of home fires in the months of December through February

- Candle fires have nearly tripled in the past decade. Nearly twice as many home candle fires occur in December than any other month, perhaps because of the holiday decorations and seasonal celebrations.


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