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[Share]Published: October 28, 2013

FDNY Fire Safety Message

Several serious fires in recent days highlight three critical fire safety risks: use of candles, working smoke alarms and closing the door in case of fire.

Please read each of these sections carefully. They are simple tips that will keep you and your family safe.

Fire in Your Apartment
If there’s a fire in your apartment:
- Get everyone out. Stay low as you go.
- Use your safest and most accessible exit.
- CLOSE ALL DOORS as you leave to keep fire and smoke from spreading.
- If using an interior stairway, alert people on your floor by knocking on their doors on your way out.
- DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.
- Call 911 once you reach a safe location

Candles
Burning Candles
If you burn candles at home, for any reason, make sure they are:
- NEVER left unattended.
- Located at least four feet from anything that could catch fire, like curtains, decorations, blinds and bedding.
- Out of reach of small children and pets.
- Not allowed in teens’ or children’s bedrooms.
- Extinguished before you leave the room.
- Extinguished when they burn within two inches of the holder.

Buying Candles
Make sure they are:
- In a sturdy metal, glass or ceramic candle holder.
- Not embedded combustible decorative items.
- Do not have a decorative or floral candle ring.

Power Outages
DO NOT use candles for light when the power is out, instead:
- Have flashlights and batteries available in your home and car.
- Always carry a small light with you.

Smoke Alarms
Installation
- There are two types of smoke detectors, photoelectric and ionization. They detect different types of smoke so having both technologies in the home will provide maximum protection.

- Check it has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Mark (combo smoke/CO alarms are available).
- Install an alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement, and consider interconnected alarms, so when one is triggered, all of them sound.
- Place alarms within 15 feet of all sleeping areas and, if possible, in all bedrooms.
- Install smoke alarms on the ceiling, preferably in the center of the room and no less than 4 inches from a wall. If installed on a wall, be sure it’s 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling.
- The hearing-impaired should install alarms with alternate notifications, i.e. flashing lights.

Upkeep
- Test the alarms once a month
- Be sure all alarms always have batteries. Replace batteries twice a year or use a detector with a 10-year sealed lithium battery.
- Never paint over alarms.
- Replace smoke alarms at least every 10 years.

False Alarms
If your smoke alarm sounds because of bathroom steam or cooking vapors, do not remove it or its batteries. Instead:
- Push the “HUSH” button.
- Open windows and turn on vent fans to clear the air.
- Consider reinstalling the alarm away from the cooking area or bathroom.
- Photoelectric alarms near the kitchen reduce false alarms from normal cooking.

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