BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. Even the simplest of habits can be life-saving when it comes to fire safety, according to Bedford Building Inspector Steven Fraietta. In the wake of several recent fires that have ravaged homes in nearby communities, Fraietta said there are proper ways to prevent such tragedies at home from checking batteries, to using proper care with extension cords.
People should be aware to check the smoke detectors batteries, I do mine at least twice a year when the clocks change just to make sure of it, he said. I make sure theyre changed and I test them frequently.
Along with keeping a good twice-a-year plan, Fraietta said it is also extremely important to have an idea of what to do in case of an emergency. Everybody should have a plan, God forbid anything like that happens, he said. What are you going to do? Every house is different, so they should have exit strategies.
Once the fire in a fireplace is out, that is when another potentially dangerous substance is around: ashes. According to Fraietta, it is not good enough to clean up the ashes. When cleaning the ash out of the fireplace, it should be put into a metal container and brought as far away from the house as possible, he said.
If you are heating your home without a fire, he said to be sure to use portable equipment that has the label UL on the side, meaning that the independent Underwriters Laboratories has labeled it as safe to use. He urges those using the portables to follow the factorys instructions, along with limiting the use of extension cords, as they could create a spark of their own.