Chief Michael Feinberg
67 Flash Road
Nahant, MA 01908
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Nahant Fire Department Offers Electrical Fire Prevention and Autumn Safety Tips
NAHANT — With summer officially at an end and cooler weather already becoming more common, Chief Michael Feinberg and the Nahant Fire Department would like to offer residents some tips to avoid electrical fires and remain safe this fall.
“By following these tips, our residents can help ensure that they stay both safe and warm during the heating season, and throughout the rest of the year,” Chief Feinberg said. “Electrical fires are a preventable problem, as long as everyone takes the necessary steps to ensure their electrical wiring and equipment are safe.”
According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration, there are more than 45,000 home electrical fires each year, and half of those fires are caused by lighting equipment or electrical wiring.
To prevent these fires, Chief Feinberg wishes to bring residents’ attention to these safety tips from FEMA:
- Plug heat-producing appliances, such as coffee makers, space heaters or microwaves directly into a wall outlet. Unplug small appliances when you’re not using them.
- Only one such appliance should be plugged into a single wall outlet at any given time.
- Extension cords should only be used temporarily, and should never be used to power heat-producing appliances.
- Electrical work should only be performed by a licensed electrician.
- Cracked or damaged electrical cords should be replaced.
- Don’t overload extension cords, wall outlets or power strips.
- Only use power strips that have internal overload protection.
- Avoid putting wires where they can be damaged of pinched, such as under a carpet or rug.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths.
The NFPA recommends the following tips to prevent most heating-related fires from happening:
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month, and note that the end of Daylight Saving Time on Nov. 4 is an ideal time to change smoke alarm batteries.
Additionally, families should be sure to have a fire escape plan for their home, and ensure that all family members are aware of the plan and have practiced it within the last year. The plan should include a designated meeting place outside where everyone can safely reunite upon exiting during an emergency.