Change Your Clocks, Check Your Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Alarms And Kitchen Fire Extinguisher

November 5, 2022

When you change your clock, it is good practice and a reminder to check your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and kitchen fire extinguisher.

In New Jersey, all single station, battery operated, non-hardwired smoke alarms are required to be replaced with one with 10-year sealed battery units. If you have a 110v interconnected system, they have a backup battery in each detector and it is a good time to change those batteries before they go bad. See flyers below provided by the Monmouth County Fire Prevention and Protection Association. Remember after 10 years smoke alarms lose their effectiveness and need to be replaced, a date of manufacture or expiration date is printed on the back of detectors, if you don’t know replace your detectors. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on installation and maintenance of all alarms.

If you have an attached garage, fuel burning appliances such as gas stoves, heaters, oil burners, etc., the home also will need a carbon monoxide detector installed in the immediate vicinity of sleeping areas. Each unit comes with manufacture’s instructions, read and follow the directions on placement and maintenance. It is also good to have a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of the home besides in the vicinity of the sleeping areas.

A large number of residential fires start in the kitchen. In New Jersey it is required to have a fire extinguisher of proper size mounted withing 10 feet of the kitchen. See flyer below for proper sizing and contact a local fire extinguisher service company for service tags. The New Jersey requirement for residential kitchens, the size is 2A 10 BC, a qualified fire extinguisher service company can help you select the proper extinguisher for any hazard.

Other fire safety tips:

Another area that is often overlooked are dryer vents that can clog with combustible lint. It is a suitable time to have dryer vents cleaned to remove build up and perform any maintenance before the winter season.

Do not use extension cords in place of permanent wiring, and do not overload outlets. Do not run extension cords under rugs, though walls or doors. If using a power strip make sure it has built in fuse protection.

Have heating appliances should be serviced by a qualified company before the winter heating season. Keep a minimum of three feet of clearance around any heater.

Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep before the wood burning season and inspect regularly for buildup. It is a good idea to have a 2.5 gallon “water” type fire extinguisher in the vicinity of your wood burning stove or fireplace. Water will quickly knock down the fire if the fire gets out of control in Class-A wood fires. Multi-purpose ABC dry chemical fire extinguishers are also acceptable.

When cleaning fireplaces or wood stoves use a steel can with a cover to remove ashes, and make sure ashes cool down before you dispose of them properly. Have proper fireplace tools and fire gloves to clean and maintain the fire. Make sure there is three feet of clearance all around the stove and no combustible items near any wood burning stove or fireplace.

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact your local fire department for help.

Check and test your carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are working. Check and replace their batteries or backup battery installed if a plug-in unit. This alarm above would not sound if there was a carbon monoxide issue in the household.

Make sure your kitchen fire extinguisher has proper pressure, is the correct size and is tagged with a service tag from an approved fire extinguisher service company.

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