Storm Tips from the Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office

bill gee oc fire marshal tlsSubmitted by the OCFM: The Office of the Ocean County Fire Marshal would like to give everyone some safety tips for the impending snow storm. Please take a moment to review the tips below:

The risk of CO poisoning is an area of concern due to several incidents over the years sending families and friends to the hospital for CO Poisonings. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless and potentially deadly gas causing headaches, dizziness, redness in the face, nausea, and flu like symptoms. We urge families to replace their Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarm batteries:

• All homes must have working CO detectors. We recommend any model that will give you an early warning to get out and have a battery backup. A basic unit is adequate however. We recommend at least one on each level of your house.
• IMMEDIATELY CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OR 911 IF YOUR SMOKE/CO ALARM GOES OFF! The fire department will respond quickly to check homes with multi-gas meters and remove the CO.

1.Candles – If the power should go out at any time and you do not have any other backup lighting other than candles, please keep them away from combustible materials such as curtains, furniture, papers, bedding materials, and clothing. Please extinguish candle(s) when leaving the house or going to bed. While lighting candles make sure an adult supervises and is aware a candle has been lit.

2.Heaters – If your heater breaks down and you need heat please “DO NOT USE YOUR STOVE or OVEN” for heat. If you use any other heating device make sure it is UL listed and approved. If you use an electric heater or other type of space heater make sure it meets the proper clearances and ventilation as required by the manufacturer and keep away from combustible materials such as paper, bedding materials, drapes, and furniture. Also make sure it has a tip over feature in case it gets knocked over to shut “Off”. We recommend having your heater furnace cleaned and serviced by a reputable service company to prevent any malfunctions or Carbon Monoxide (CO) issues during the winter months. Check your exhaust piping and chimneys for any clogs of debris or snow.

3.Power – Do not overload outlets or run extension cords through doors or windows in your houses.

4.Generators – If you need to use a generator for a power outage “Do not use it inside the building or house” where it will cause a Carbon Monoxide (CO) buildup from the exhaust. Keep it away from any windows or doors for the same reason. Do not refuel it while it is running, let it cool down and then refuel it.

5.Water Leaks – If you see any kind of water leak take it seriously and call a plumber or your building or property manager. If you know of issues with previous broken pipes from past winters please check those areas and if they have heaters make sure they are working and “On” especially in fire sprinkler rooms. If the leak was from regular water piping turn the water “On” and let it trickle from the faucet if it is inside the house until the weather passes. If it is outside shut the water line down and drain it.

6.Fires – If you have a fire get out, stay out, and call 911 immediately. Do not try to put the fire out yourself. If the fire is in a room with a door, close the door on the way out. If the item on fire is movable do not try to move it to the outside because once it gets more air the item may reignite and cause more damage or trapped you inside the building or causing you to get burned.

7.Fire Exits – Please clear and maintain all Fire Exits free from accumulations of snow and ice for occupants to get out and for emergency personnel to get in during an emergency.

8.Frozen Waters – Please stay off frozen lakes, ponds, and bay areas. The frozen waters look good to go skating on or to walk across but the ice may not be hard enough to support your weigh.

9.Fire Hydrants – If you have a fire hydrant by your house please clear it of snow. It will help in case the fire department needs to access and use it for a fire.


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