Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017 Solar Eclipse Safety

With the eclipse taking place during the peak of wildfire season, please keep fire prevention a top priority. Remember that idling cars over dry grass and careless acts with smoking, campfires, fireworks and target shooting can easily spark a wildfire. Here are some prevention tips from Keep Oregon Green!  

Wildfire prevention
• Know fire risks and respect fire restrictions, such as campfire bans.
• Avoid parking or driving on dry grass as your vehicle can start a wildfire.
• Vehicles are required to have a shovel and fire extinguisher or at least a gallon of water in many areas.
• Do not use candles, fireworks, tiki torches, or other open flames outdoors.
–– Sky lanterns are illegal in Oregon airspace.
• Smoking materials:
–– Dispose of smoking materials in deep, sturdy ashtrays.
–– Make sure butts and ashes are extinguished by using water or sand.
–– Never discard butts on the ground or in vegetation.
• During a wildfire, there are three levels of evacuation:
–– Level 1 – Ready: Pack your valuables.
–– Level 2 – Set: Monitor the news reports.
–– Level 3 – Go: An official notice from the sheriff’s office or fire agency to evacuate.
Even through southwest Oregon is not in the path of totality, there will be hundreds of thousands of additional drivers on I-5 during the days leading up to and after the eclipse. It is up to everyone to prevent wildfires and to practice these safety measures during this time. 

Please For more information on wildfire prevention and fire restrictions, visit

Monday, February 6, 2017

Kitchen Fire Safety

Winter is the season when people spend more time in the kitchen cooking and preparing meals. Sounds like business as usual, right?  The kitchen is the place where more home fires occur than anywhere else in the house.  The American Red Cross has a list of steps to follow to prevent a fire incident in the kitchen.  Before looking at their list below, follow this link to their Cooking Safety Quiz to test your knowledge about safe cooking practices!

1. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, even for a second, turn off the stove.
2. Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
3. Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.
4. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
5. Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
6. Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
7. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
8. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Fire safe home practices are everyone's responsibilities.  When your kids are old enough to cook, teach them the safest and most responsible ways to use equipment, and always be close by to supervise. Set a good example and always follow the same safety precautions when you are cooking. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Prevent Chimney Fires

Winter is the season when warmth is the top priority in the house.  Many of us use wood burning stoves and fire places to heat our homes, but these heating implements can also be the cause of a very serious house fire. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to properly maintain their wood burning stove to insure that it is safe to use. Here are some tips from Nationwide Insurance for preventing a chimney fire:

1. Make sure your wood burning stove is properly installed and has proper venting.

2. Perform a monthly inspection on the chimney.

3. Use dry, seasoned wood.
Hardwoods are the best fuel for a wood stove. Wood should be air dried for at least a year before burning.

4. Clean the stovepipe and chimney at least once a year.
Use a wire brush to clean your stovepipe and chimney or hire a professional to do the job.

5. Avoid creosote buildup.
Creosote is highly combustible and can condense along the walls of the stovepipe and chimney if the fire is not burning at hot enough temperatures. Creosote can be in many forms, sticky, flaky or a hard glaze tar.

For more detailed information, please visit: