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Current Events and Issues

Preparedness Month and fire safety

Posted: Sept. 15, 2020

September is National Preparedness Month, a time to promote family and community disaster planning.

Severe weather can happen at any time, in any part of the country. That's why it is important for your community to be ready for severe weather events and to understand the fire risks that can come with them.

Many residents will be surprised to learn that besides the wind and water damage, severe weather also brings the risk of fire. Fire can occur due to:

  • Lightning.
  • Portable generators.
  • Leaking gas lines, damaged propane tanks and leaking vehicle gas tanks.
  • Water-damaged appliances or vehicles.
  • Debris near electrical wires and transformers.
  • Damaged or downed utility lines.
  • Exposed electrical outlets and wiring.

Read: Hurricane Isaias shows why storm fire safety matters

Teach your community about
electrical, gas, home hazardous materials and portable generator fire safety.

Remind them:

  • Lightning can cause house fires, so test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Portable generators stay outside. Only use the extension cords made for generator use.
  • Check gas lines and make sure there are no leaks.
  • If an appliance gets wet, have it inspected by an electrician.
  • Move debris away from electric lines and transformers.
  • Damaged and downed powerlines are not only a fire hazard, but an electrocution risk. Report a downed or sparking line to the electrical company or fire department.
  • Exposed wiring is a fire hazard and an electrocution risk. Have an electrician inspect any exposed electrical outlets or wiring.

Teach your community about
the types of severe weather common in your area.

Before severe weather hits, encourage residents to prepare their homes and families for fire safety.

  • Test smoke alarms.
  • Discuss a home escape plan and make sure everyone knows how to get out of the home and where to meet.
  • If a family member needs assistance escaping, decide who will help.
Severe weather and fires are dangerous, but helping residents plan can help them feel safer and more prepared.

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