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Important Safety Information from the Boston Fire Department

It is important that you take the following actions to minimize your risk of injury due to fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Do ...
  • Test and check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace them if you are not certain that they are fully charged. Most electrically powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have a battery backup capability while some are powered by battery power alone.
  • Check to make sure you have smoke detectors outside each separate sleeping area and on each level of the property including the basement. (This should be the minimum coverage. Newer codes require smoke detectors within each bedroom as well).
  • Check that there are carbon monoxide detectors on each living level of your home.
  • Obtain battery powered lighting and flashlights to reduce the need for candles and other unsafe means of lighting.
  • Survey your home for any electrical equipment or devices that may malfunction or create a hazard when power is turned back on. Make sure power switches are in the off position or the device is unplugged.
  • Hold a home fire drill to practice the home escape plan especially with children.
  • If you hear any alarm sounding or smell or see any indication of smoke or fire, all people should exit the property immediately and call 911 from a safe area outside the residence.
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide exposure: Get out of the house and get fresh air. Call 911 from a neighbor’s home. If anyone has symptoms ranging from headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion or unconsciousness, seek medical help immediately.

Make sure ...

  • Candle usage is minimized to prevent accidental fire. Use flashlights and battery powered lighting whenever possible.
  • Candles are never left unattended or burning when asleep. Never leave a child with an unattended candle.
  • Candles are enclosed in an approved container and placed away from combustibles, drapes, curtains, open windows. Maintain a clear one foot circle of safety surrounding the candle.
  • Smoking materials and matches are carefully disposed of.
  • Charcoal or gas grills, camping stoves, un-vented liquid or gas fueled space heaters are never used inside a structure or enclosed area.
  • Fireplace screens are in place to prevent sparks and embers from falling on to the floor.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning ...

  • Do not use generators inside the home or within an enclosed area.
  • Do not use a gas stove or oven for heat.
  • Keep appliance vents and exhaust pipes clear of drifting snow and bushes.
  • Before lighting the fireplace, make sure the chimney is cleaned, the damper is open and a battery powered carbon monoxide detector is in the area.
  • Do not close the damper until fire has died out and ashes have completely cooled.
  • Do not leave vehicles or generators running inside a garage even if the door is open. Fumes will build up quickly.
  • Never use gasoline-powered engines (generators, chain saws, blowers, weed trimmers, mowers or snow blowers) indoors or near open doors or windows.

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