Maplewood Fire Chief Joseph Richardella offered the following key tips on how to stay safe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
- Place generators away from open windows. They release carbon monoxide gas (CO) into the air.
- Make sure your generator is the proper size to fit your needs - do not overload them.
- Shut off the machine before you fuel it. Fuel generators before you go to bed, and in the morning. Use five gallons of fuel at a time. Don't spill gas by an open exhaust. A fire will start immediately if it comes into contact with the exhaust.
- Don't get creative and try to rewire generators to run the heating system, for example, if it is not equipped to. Use them for small, essential electric items, like lamps, toasters, coffee pots, etc.
Hot Water Heaters and Stoves:
- There are two different kinds of hot water heaters - standard, and electric. Using electric water heaters means that in a power outage, you will be without heat, as the heater uses an electric ignition to start it.
- Don't leave burners on when not using the stove, as they can release carbon monoxide gas. Only leave on burners when you are actually using them.
- Fireplaces are safe to use, but be sure to check your flues and have proper ventilation before starting a fire.
- If you use candles, make sure they are blown out before you leave the room or house. They are easily knocked over by pets, so place them in the center of tables, not the corners. Keep them out of the reach of small children, and do not put them under cabinets - the heat may start a fire.
Also, a reminder: Sunday is the end of Daylight Savings Time, where we turn clocks back one hour. It is also a good time to remember to check the batteries in your smoke detectors.