The holiday season is approaching, and the Oklahoma City Fire Department has a few safety tips for your family and friends. A small fire can double in size every 30-60 seconds. Following these safety messages will provide a safer winter and holiday season. The holiday season is approaching, and the Oklahoma City Fire Department has a few safety tips for your family and friends. A small fire can double in size every 30-60 seconds. Following these safety messages will provide a safer winter and holiday season. Smoke Alarms· Working smoke alarms should be placed inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including basements. The Oklahoma City Fire Department has a “Project Life” smoke alarm program. Firefighters will install smoke alarms at no charge for qualifying residents of Oklahoma City. Contact information 405-316-2337, www.smokealarmsokc.com or www.Gratisalarmasokc.com.  Residents outside of Oklahoma City can contact your local fire department or Red Cross. · Test smoke alarms once a month while practicing your escape plan. Practice your escape plan based on your mobility and always have a meeting place outside the home. · Replace batteries once a year. When replacing the 9-volt battery consider upgrading to a 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm.· Replace all smoke alarms after 10 years or before expiration date located on the backside. · People with hearing impairment can contact the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT), 888-885-5588 or email [email protected]     OkAT will install smoke alarms with strobe lights and bed shaker for qualifying Oklahoma residents. Apply at www.okabletech.okstate.edu. * According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or the alarms are not working.”Heating Safety·Keep space heaters a minimum of 3-feet away from anything that can burn. The 3-foot clearance must include people and pets. Never use extension cords with space heaters. Plug them directly into the outlet and ensure the space heater is the only item plugged into the outlet. Turn off and unplug when not in use or going to bed. ·Heating systems and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned every year by a qualified professional. Schedule your inspection and cleaning before use.  ·Keep metal fireplace screens or heat-tempered glass secured and in the correct position when in use. Discard cool ashes from the fireplace into a metal container. Keep the metal container at least 10-feet from your home.  ·Never use ovens, stove top, or open burning to heat your home. Open flame heat sources should have a venting system. The use of alternative heating sources inside your home could have deadly consequences caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or fire. ·Always follow the manufacturer’s instruction. ·Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.      *According to NFPA, “Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.”Holiday Safety·Don’t block exits with decorations. ·Follow manufacturer’s instruction and do not overload extension cords. ·Keep candles away from children and pets. ·Ask smokers to smoke outside. Wet all cigarette butts before discarding. ·Never leave food cooking on the stovetop unattended. Make sure you are alert when cooking. ·Cut 2 inches off the base of a live Christmas tree before placing in the stand. Add water to your tree stand daily. Don’t put heating sources or candles near the Christmas tree. Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. ·Immediately remove the Christmas tree from inside your home after the holidays or when it is dry.  *According to NFPA, “Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.”Additional fire safety information is available at www.nfpa.org/Public-Education.
This is the first of a series of safetey articles provided by  Oklahoma City Fire Department, Oklahoma County Sheriff Department and the Oklahoma City Police Department.