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Choosing a Fire Extinguisher Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke Detectors Fire Safety Tips for Older Adults

Choosing a Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a handy item to keep around the home, in a school, office or factory. Portable and effective; it is usually the first line of defense which can be used to put out a small fire.
The more common types of extinguishers in the market are either of the water type, dry powder type, or carbon dioxide type. The table below recommends the type of extinguisher for the corresponding types of fires:

Recommended type of fire extinguisher
Type of Fire
Water Extinguisher (A) Suitable for ordinary fires arising from wood, cloth, paper
Dry Powder Extinguisher (B) Suitable for flammable liquid and gas fires; recommended for open areas
Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher C) Suitable for flammable liquid and electrical fires

Where to place a fire extinguisher

1. Extinguishers should be placed in an easily visible and accessible location, preferably near room exits, corridors, stairways, lobbies and landings.
2. Extinguishers should not be located in places where they may be exposed to special risks such as corrosive atmospheres or splashing by corrosive fluids.
3. Do not place extinguishers too close to a potential hazard / heat source . (Stove, Heating Unit, Fireplace). An ensuing fire may block access to the extinguisher.
4. If the special risk is in a confined space, it is generally advisable to position it outside that space.
5. Cabinets if any housing fire extinguishers, should not be locked. If it needs to be locked to prevent malicious use or physical damage, a glass-fronted box should be used and the key to be located next to or part of the cabinet
6. All free-standing extinguishers may be placed on shelves or on the floor, if permitted by relevant authorities
7. Extinguishers should be mounted on walls by the hangers or brackets supplied. Be sure that the extinguisher is installed so that it is not easily accessible to small children.

REMEMBER : Most household extinguishers are designed to last about 8-10 seconds. If you cannot control the fire in that time frame it is time to get out.

CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas that is created as a result of combustion, or burning. CO is dangerous--hundreds of Americans die each year from accidental CO poisoning.

Common sources of CO in the home:
• Automobile engines
• Hot water heaters
• Furnaces
• Space heaters
• Fireplaces
• Stoves
• Charcoal grills
• Clothes dryers

(CO detectors installed within 15 feet of such appliances may produce false alarms.)

When functioning properly, these devices pose no CO danger--this is why you should perform regular inspections of CO-producing devices and ventilation systems. Carbon monoxide attaches itself to your bloods hemoglobin. It displaces the oxygen which hemoglobin ordinarily transports to your cells. When your hemoglobin is clogged with CO, however, it can't carry oxygen to your cells and you can asphyxiate even if you move to a room with plenty of oxygen.

Anyone can be poisoned by CO if they are exposed to a high enough concentration over a long enough period of time, but those especially at risk include children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with heart or lung disease. One of the best ways to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning is to install CO detectors in your home.

Recommended Location for a CO Detector:
• Hallway - outside sleeping areas
• Top of the basement stairs.

IF YOUR CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR SOUNDS
LEAVE YOUR HOME IMMEDIATELY AND DIAL 742-3300.

Firefighters will test your home for CO levels and investigate the source.

SMOKE DETECTORS

When purchasing a smoke detector, always check to make certain
the model you're choosing has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label.

• Install smoke detectors in your home in the hallway next to each bedroom.
• Install one detector on each floor of your home, including the basement.
• It's best to install the detectors on the ceiling; you should place them at least four feet from the nearest wall and two feet from any corner. Mounting detectors on interior walls is preferable, as outside walls may experience extremes of temperature which cause smoke detectors to malfunction.
• Smoke detectors will come with an owner's manual, and you should read these manuals for manufacturers' specific recommendations.
• Replace Smoke Detectors every 10 years.
• Reduce Nuisance alarms by avoiding certain detector installation locations:
- Bathrooms (because the steam from a shower can set off a false alarm)
- Kitchen (cooking regularly produces a bit of smoke)--smoke detectors should be placed about 20 feet from the cooking area so as to detect any genuine fires started there.

The Mineola Fire Department, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs urge all Americans to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit: change the batteries in your smoke detectors when you change your clocks back to Standard Time each fall--in 2003, the date is October 26th.
*Change your clocks - 10/26/03 - Change your batteries*
Don't worry if the battery may have "a little juice left" in it: that battery is powering a device that may save your life or the life of someone you love. Batteries are cheap; lives are invaluable. Pop the old battery in a portable radio if you wish, but put a fresh one in your smoke detector.

Ninety percent of fire deaths involving children occur in homes without working smoke detectors.

Fire Safety Tips for Older Adults

Be Kitchen Wise: Never leave cooking unattended. Wear clothes with tight fitting sleeves when you cook. Always set a kitchen timer to remind you to turn off the burners and oven. Keep stove surfaces free of clutter and built-up of grease.

Be Smoker Wary: Use large, deep, non tip ashtrays. Empty ashtrays often, wetting the contents before dumping into the trash. Never smoke in bed or while consuming alcohol or taking medication that could make you drowsy or disoriented.

Give Space Heaters Space: Keep electric portable space heaters at least 3-feet from everything—including you! Just brushing against one could set your clothing on fire.

Clean / Maintain Heating systems: Keep combustible materials away from your furnace, hot water heater and Clothes dryer. Consider having a professional clean and inspect your Oil Burner and / or Fireplace at the beginning of the heating system.

Install Smoke Detectors: Be sure to have smoke detectors outside all sleeping areas and on every level of your home, including the basement. Test your detectors monthly, and change your batteries once a year. If you sleep in a room with the doors closed, install a smoke detector inside the room as well. If you are hearing impaired, use a tested and approved smoke detector that triggers a strobe light.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact the Mineola Fire Department
(516) 747-5860
EMERGENCY - DIAL 742-3300