Freeze Out Winter Fires
- Keep all doors and windows that could be used for an escape route clear of snow and ice.
- Keep all vents - fireplace, dryer, furnace and oven - clear of snow, ice and debris.
- Never use a blow torch to thaw frozen pipes.
- Use flashlights, not candles, if you lose power.
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from heat sources; do not use your oven to heat your home.
Get Ahead of the Winter Freeze and Check These 10 Tips
- Inspect and service furnace by a qualified professional. (A furnace should be serviced at least once a year.)
- Clean and inspect chimneys and vents by a qualified professional and check for creosote build-up. (Not cleaning your chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires from built up creosote. This service needs to be done at least once a year.)
- Wood for a fireplace or wood stove should be dry, seasoned wood.
- Fireplace screen should be metal or heat-tempered glass, in good condition and secure in its position in front of the fireplace.
- Have a covered metal container ready to use to dispose cooled ashes. (The ash container should be kept at least 10 feet from the home and any nearby buildings.)
- Teach children to stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, oil stove or other space heaters.
- Make sure portable space heaters have an automatic shut-off.
- Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet (not an extension cord) and place at least 3 feet from anything that can burn; like bedding, paper, walls, and even people. (Place notes throughout your home to remind you to turn off portable heaters when you leave a room or go to bed.)
- Test smoke alarms and make sure they are working. (You need smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For the best protection, the smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.)
- Test carbon monoxide alarms and make sure they are working. (Carbon monoxide alarms should be located outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.)
With spring finally upon us it is a welcome sign to smell the mouth-watering waft of your neighbor's dinner on the grill. Each year more than 500 fires occur when people use grills and about 20 people are injured as a result of gas grill fires and explosions. Before you kick-off your own BBQ the Fridley Fire Department would like to offer our top 10 tips for safety this grilling season.
- BBQ grills should only be used outdoors and should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches, with an adult in attendance at all times.
- Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups. Before you put anything on the grill, get the grill hot and scrub it of any residue with a clean wire-bristled brush.
- Check all connections for leaks by turning on the cylinder valve and spraying the connections with a solution made by mixing equal amounts of liquid dish soap and water. If bubbles appear, those connections need to be tightened or replaced.
- Use long-handed tools to avoid leaning over the grill when flipping over burgers and other meats. Be mindful of sleeves and clothing when near a grill as well.
- Create separate areas on the grill for raw meat and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Invest in an instant-read thermometer: Making sure meat and poultry are cooked to the proper temperatures is vital to safe eating.
- When you are finished grilling with charcoal, let the coals completely cool before disposing of in a metal container, never in a plastic or other combustible container.
- Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill, and know how to use it! If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time trying to learn- just call 9-1-1.
- DON'T: Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it, a fireball can explode in your face.
- DON'T: Overload your grill with food, especially fatty meats. If too much fat drips on to the flames at once, it may cause a flare-up that can light nearby items on fire.
Lastly the Fridley Fire Department would like to remind residents that the City has adopted the Minnesota State Fire Code with regards to multi-family dwellings which does not allow charcoal or gas grills to be used or stored on decks or within 15' of dwellings that are 3 units or larger.
DID YOU KNOW...?
- Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 900 reported home fires each year. Two of every five of these fires were started by a candle.
- Kids are more than twice as likely to get hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year.
- Don't let the spookiness of Halloween turn tragic. Protect your little ghosts and goblins with these simple reminders...
- The Costume: Choose a costume that doesn't have long, trailing fabric, and make sure eye holes in any face coverings or masks are large enough to see in all directions.
- Be Visible: Carry flashlights and glow sticks. Reflective tape on dark costumes also helps. There are lots of cars and people out on Halloween night, and lots of distractions. Make sure drivers see your kids, and, if you are driving, be sure to stay alert.
- Avoid Candles: Consider using a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns. If using a real candle, make sure pumpkins are placed well away from walkways and steps, and in a a place where they can't be tipped over or catch fire to costumes, decorations or accessories.
- Supervise Kids: Stay in neighborhoods you know. Go out in groups and with an adult.
- Check Treats: Throw away anything that looks suspicious, is partially opened or is homemade.
- Clear Exits: Avoid blocking escape routes with decorations or other items.
- Check Smoke Alarms: Make sure all smoke alarms are working and not past their expiration dates.
Did you know?
CO is called the invisible killer because carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas.
Signs of CO poisoning include headache, nausea, fatigue, vomiting and disorientation.
Cooking and heating units that burn fuel and are not properly ventilated, or that malfunction,
can be a source of CO in the home.
What You Need to Know
Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed within 10 feet of each sleepign room or inside each sleeping room.
Test CO alarms montjhly.
Follow the instructions on the package to properly install the CO alarm.
Clear snow and debris from the furnace, dryer, fireplace or oven vents around your home to prevent a CO buildup.
If the battery is low, replace it.
Place CO alarms according to manula instractions.
If the alarm sounds
Know the sound the CO alarm makes
The CO alarm will sound if CO is detected. It will make a different sound if batter is low and needs placing.
IF a CO alarm sounds and yoiu fieel ill,l ,make sure everyone in the home gets to fresh air and call 9-1-1 immediately.
Prevent CO Posioning
When warming a vehicle, move it out of the marage.
During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, fuance, stove and firepalce are cleanr of build-up.;
A gads-powered generate should only be used outdoors. Use in a well ventilated location away from windows, doors and vent openigs.
Gas and charcoal grills can produce CO. Only use them outisde,
Never use your oven or stove to hear your home.
Recreational fires are allowed in Fridley as long as the fire is in a contained area, such as an outdoor fire pit, which is not larger than 3' in diameter and as long as those hosting these fires comply with the following rules:
- No fires are allowed between Midnight and 9:00 a.m.
- Only clean wood or charcoal may be burned. This means no burning of trash, leaves and brush.
- The ground within 5' of the fire pit or other contained area must be cleared of all combustible material.
- The fire pit or other contained area must be at least 25' away from a structure. This distance may be reduced to within 15' of a structure when contained in an outdoor fireplace or container approved by the Fire Chief.
- Recreational fires may not be started on windy days when smoke may create a nuisance for neighbors.
- The fire must be attended by an adult from the time it is ignited until it is fully extinguished.
- Fire extinguishing equipment, such as a garden hose, must be readily available to put out the fire.
If you have a complaint about smoke from a neighbor's fire, please call 9-1-1.
Fridley Fire or Fridley Police will respond to complaints about recreational fires. In most cases, residents will be asked to extinguish fires. On rare occasions, firefighters will extinguish the fire and/or issue a citation.
Unless a multi-family residence has an approved gas or electric barbecue grill that is permanently mounted and wired or plumbed to the buildings gas supply or electrical system, charcoal grills and gas grills are not allowed on the balconies of structures containing three or more dwelling units. They may also not be located on the ground floor patios of these properties unless they are located more than 15' from the structure. Fuel storage is also prohibited in structures having three or more dwelling units.
If residents have questions about recreational fires during weekdays, they may contact Fire Department staff at 763-572-3613. Alternatively, you may email your comments and/or questions to the Fridley Fire Department at FridleyFire@fridleyMN.gov
Talk with your Neighbors Before a Burn
Be considerate. Do your fires cause health issues for neighbors? Listen to neighbors who may suffer from your backyard fires. Even if they don't have health conditions, let your neighbors know you are going to have a fire so they can close windows. It is important to note that closing windows will not prevent wood smoke from affecting those with respiratory conditions.
Click Here to learn more about Wood Smoke and Your Health from MN Pollution Control Agency
Don't Burn on Alert Days
Wood smoke can make bad air days worse and you should not burn when air pollution health advisories have been issued in your area. Some local governments even prohibit backyard fires on days the “air quality index” is above 100, the level at which air pollution can start to impact sensitive groups. To know when air pollution has reached unhealthy levels in your area, sign up for AirNow air alerts via email, download the Minnesota Air mobile app, or see daily updates on Twitter (@mpca_aqi).
Stay in the kitchen when you're cooking on the stovetop.
Stay home when cooking. Don't put the turkey int he oven and leave to run errands.
Warn kids about kitchen darngers and keep them three feet way from the stove,. Kepp candles, matches and lighters out of reach.
Watch your step. Bojects on the floor or a slipper sufance from spills coudl make you trip while carrying hot food or liquoed.
Make sure electric cords are not dangling off counters whree kids or pets could reach them.
Be cares: steam and splashes can cause serivous bvurn.s
Hav activities available (puzzles, games, books) to keep kids busy away form the kitchen.
Check your smoke alarms, chagne batteries yearly or sooner if needed, and replace the alarm within 10 years of the manufactuer date.
Stovetop Fire extinguisher are an excellent took in cooking fire space. These magnetic cans simiply stick to your range hood and if a flame reached the game, it automatically release a non0toxid dry poweder that is easily cleaned with a rag or vaccum.
Consaider purcahsing an outdoor turkey cooking appliance that does not use oil
Hot moil may splash or spill during cooking
Many fryers are designed for outdoor use on a stand, with the possibility to collapse.
Cooking oil is combustiva
If rain or snow hits the hot cooking oil, it may splatter or steam.
People ten dto overfill turkey fryers, causing spills or splatters when meat is put into the fryer.
Placing a patriallythawed turkey in hot oil can result in explosions, spills and significan tsplattering.
Radon is colorless and odorless gas that comes from teh soil. The gas can acculmulte in the air we breather. When inhaled, th, it can damage the lungs. Exposure to radon over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer.
Radon is a serious public health concern in Minnesota. The average level in Minnesota is more than three times higher than the U.S. radon level.
Learn more about Radon , how it enters a home and preventitive measures.