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Posted on: October 18, 2021

Geneva Fire Department: Fire & Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

  • Make sure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning by testing them once per month.  Both alarms should be battery-operated or have a battery back-up, and batteries should be changed once per year.  You should have a separate alarm for each to prevent these separate emergencies.
  • Have a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm on every floor, outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms.  You can check for interconnecting alarms so that one sounds, they all sound.
  • Your smoke alarm doesn’t just sound when there is a fire.  Learn the difference between sounds:  three loud beeps (continuous) means there is a smoke or a fire and one “chirp’ every 30-60 seconds means it is time to change the battery.
  • Your smoke alarm must be changed every 10 years.  Make sure you find out how old the smoke alarm is when you move into a new residence.  If your smoke alarm continues to “chirp” even after you have replaced the battery, it’s time to replace your smoke alarm.
  • Most home fire start in the kitchen.  Make sure you always keep watch over your cooking and that there is a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Have a fire escape plan and review it with your family.  Make sure plans meet the needs of those with disabilities, children and those with mobility issues in the household.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness and confusion.  If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately and then call 911.
  • On average, one of every 13 hotel or motel reports a structure fire each year.   Make sure you are staying at a hotel or motel equipped with smoke alarms and sprinklers, locate the fire exits when you arrive, and review the escape plan with your traveling companions.
  • Have your home heating systems (including chimney and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician.
  • Never use portable generators inside homes or garages, even if doors and windows are open.  Use generators outside only, at least 20 feet away from your home.

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