Fire officials advise spring check-up

Staff report

Spring cleaning is an annual ritual for many people, and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department is asking homeowners to make this also a time to make homes safer.

Fire officials recommend taking the time to check your home and yard for dangerous materials and unsafe conditions, including the attic, basement, garage, yard, and storage sheds.

Remove hazards, correcting or removing things such as:

– Frayed or damaged appliance cords, wiring, fuses or breakers.

– Piles of rubbish, trash, and debris.

– Stacks of paper and magazines.

– Water leaks, especially near electrical appliances.

– Clearances between heating appliances and combustibles.

Store chemicals and flammable liquids properly:

– Store gasoline and cleaning fluids, well marked, out of the reach of children and pets in a cool, dry place outside the house.

– Clean up work areas. Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches, or other work items away and out of the reach of children.

– Inventory home and yard chemicals, paints, and poisons. Store them according to their label. Properly dispose of anything that is expired, leaking, or looks bad.

– Make sure all chemicals are kept under lock and key and out of the reach of children and pets.

Check fire protection and safety equipment:

– Ensure your smoke detectors are in working order.

– Check fire extinguishers for proper type and placement.

– Make sure all doors and windows open easily for fast escapes.

– Make sure your street number is posted properly and easily visible.

– Make sure you have a working flashlight and battery-powered radio.

Make an escape plan:

– Sit down with your family and make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.

– Make sure you have two ways out of every room. Have a designated meeting place outside the house for the whole family.

– Practice the plan.

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