The Yakima Fire Department is recommending the following “Top Ten” safety tips in anticipation of the upcoming cold weather and snow likely to happen this week in our Yakima Valley.
- Clean your chimney. If you burn firewood, please be sure to have your chimney cleaned by a professional cleaner to reduce the chance of having a chimney fire. Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container, and keep it outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby building.
- Make sure you have working smoke detectors in your homes. Be sure to test you smoke detectors to ensure they operate. Replace the batteries if necessary and be sure to replace your detector if it is over ten years old. Also, check to make sure windows open correctly because each room should have two ways out, in case of a fire.
- Keep “Safe” portable heaters in your home. Please be sure that portable heaters are safe by checking for cracked or frayed wiring. Be sure the “Tip-shut off switch” works correctly and never use an extension cords to power your portable heater. Use only one portable heater per outlet and be sure you do not store combustibles near the heaters (3 feet min.).
- Keep young children away from space heaters--especially when they are wearing night gowns or other loose clothing that can be easily ignited. When using a fuel burning appliance in the bedrooms, be sure there is plenty of ventilation to prevent a buildup of carbon monoxide.
- Carbon Monoxide detectors are recommended in the home in rooms where people are sleeping. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless poisonous by-product of combustion. It is known as a silent killer and detectors should be used if you have gas or wood burning appliances and an attached garage at your home.
- Don’t wait till the last minute to get your snow tires mounted. If it snows, please be very careful when driving. Slow down and anticipate taking more time when stopping your car.
- If you smoke cigarettes, smoke outside. Keep the ashes and cigarette butts in a metal container stored outside and away from your house. The Yakima Fire Department does not endorse cigarette smoking, just safe practices in disposing of hot cigarette products.
- Be safe when putting up your Christmas lights. If you choose to put up your Christmas lights in the cold or snowy weather conditions, please be careful to do so only if conditions are safe. Stay off of roofs if snow or ice are present. Be sure to have a “second person” helping out in case you have a fall, so someone can help you in the cold weather. Be sure to inspect the light electrical wires for damage or cracks. If you find any problems – do not repair but rather, replace the lights.
- Keep extra food and water supplies in your homes and cars. Have some food and water on standby just in case you lose power or get stranded in the snowy cold weather.
- “Check in” with your elderly friends or family members. Do not take for granted our aging and less capable citizens. Please check in their wellbeing and if they do not answer your call – have someone provide a wellbeing check at their residence.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Captain Schneider at (509) 576-6353. Please be safe by planning ahead during these cold weather months.
Below are additional links on staying safe, yet warm, as winter approaches:
Heating Your Home Safely
USFA Winter Fires
Fight Fire With Facts
Put A Freeze On Winter Fires