Delhi Township Fire Department
Deaths from fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States (CDC 2005) and the third leading cause of fatal home injury (Runyan 2004). The United States mortality rate from fires ranks fourth among the 25 developed countries for which statistics are available (USFA 2007).
Nothing sets the mood quite like soothing candle-light. Be it for romance, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, or for every-day use, everyone has candles in their home. There is nothing nicer than walking into a house filled with the aroma of burning candles, unless you’re a Firefighter.
In a four year period Firefighters across the United States responded to 6,780 house fires caused by candles. 81 people lost their lives and 731 people were injured in these fires. In Ohio, 1,209 house fires, 8 deaths, and 166 injuries were reportedly caused by candle fires. In Delhi Township, 8 house fires were caused by candles. No injuries or deaths were reported. These fires occurred in almost every room throughout the house.
You can reduce the risk of these fires by placing candles in an open, uncluttered area. There shouldn’t be anything above the candle. Never leave a child unattended in a room with burning candles or accessible matches and lighters. Never leave the house or go to sleep with candles lit. Most importantly ensure smoke detectors are up to date, tested, and in good working order.
These are just a few ideas to reduce the chance of an unwanted fire. If you would like more information please contact the Delhi Township Fire Department.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, deadly gas. It can kill you before you know it because you can't see it, taste it, or smell it. At lower levels of exposure, it can cause health problems. Some people may be more vulnerable to CO poisoning such as fetuses, infants, children, senior citizens, those with heart or lung problems and other chronic illnesses. When an individual breathes in CO, it accumulates in the blood and forms a toxic compound known as carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the bloodstream to cells and tissue. Carbon monoxide attaches itself to hemoglobin and displaces the oxygen that the body's organs need.
Carboxyhemoglobin can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and irritability. Later stages of CO poisoning can cause vomiting, loss of consciousness, and eventually brain damage or death.
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of the combustion of fossil fuels. Fumes from automobiles contain high levels of CO. Appliances such as gas furnaces, space heaters, clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, water heaters, charcoal grills, fireplaces and wood burning stoves produce CO. Carbon monoxide usually is vented to the outside if appliances function correctly and the home is vented properly. Problems occur when furnace heat exchangers crack or vents and chimneys become blocked. Insulation sometimes can trap CO in the home.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Delhi Township Fire Department recommend installing at least one carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm near the bedrooms. If a home has more than one story, a detector should be placed on each story.
Be sure the detector has a testing laboratory label.
The following is a checklist when looking for problem sources of CO in the home:
1. A forced air furnace is frequently the source of leaks and should be carefully inspected.
• Measure the concentration of carbon monoxide in the flue gases.
• Check furnace connections to flue pipes and venting systems to the outside of the home for signs of corrosion, rust gaps, holes.
• Check furnace filters and filtering systems for dirt and blockage.
• Check forced air fans for proper installation and to assure correct airflow of flue gases. Improper furnace blower installation can result in carbon monoxide build-up because toxic gas is blown into rather than out of the house.
• Check the combustion chamber and internal heat exchanger for cracks, holes, metal fatigue or corrosion. Be sure they are clean and free of debris.
• Check burners and ignition system. A flame that is mostly yellow in color in natural gas fired furnaces is often a sign that the fuel is not burning completely and higher levels of carbon monoxide are being released. Oil furnaces with similar problems can give off an oily odor. Remember you can't smell carbon monoxide.
2. Check all venting systems to the outside including flues and chimneys for cracks, corrosion, holes, debris, blockages. Animals and birds can build nests in chimneys preventing gases from escaping.
3. Check all other appliances in the home that use flammable fuels such as natural gas, oil, propane, wood or kerosene. Appliances include water heaters, clothes dryers, kitchen ranges, ovens or cooktops, wood burning stoves, and gas refrigerators.
• Pilot lights can be a source of carbon monoxide because the by-products of combustion are released inside the home rather than vented outside.
• Be sure space heaters are vented properly. Unvented space heaters that use a flammable fuel such as kerosene can release carbon monoxide into the home.
• Barbecue grills should never be operated indoors under any circumstance nor should stovetops or ovens that operate on flammable fuels be used to heat a residence.
• Check fireplaces for closed, blocked, or bent flues, and soot or debris.
• Check clothes dryer vent openings outside the house for lint.
If you feel you are having any problems with CO, you should contact a qualified contractor to evaluate the problem and make the necessary repairs.
Residents of Delhi Township may contact their Fire Department at 513-922-2011 to have homes checked for the presence of carbon monoxide if your carbon monoxide alarm is sounding or you feel there is a problem.
If occupants of the home are experiencing symptoms of headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, or irritability, you should call 911 immediately. This is especially true if there are multiple occupants with these symptoms.
A residential fire occurs every half hour in Ohio. How safe is your home from fire? To determine the safety of your home from fire hazards, study these questions with your family. Every “YES” answer indicates a positive fire safety situation. However, every “NO” answer points to a fire hazard that needs to be corrected.
Download a printable version of the
Home Fire Safety Checklist
Matches and Careless Smoking Hazards
• Do you keep matches away from sources of heat?
• Do you make sure matches and smoking materials are out before disposing of them?
• Do you have plenty of large, noncombustible ashtrays in every room?
• Is “No Smoking in Bed” a rule in your home?
• Do you have qualified electricians install or extend your wiring?
• When you buy electrical equipment and appliances, do you always look for the UL label of Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc.?
• Are there enough electrical outlets in every room to avoid the need for multiple attachment plugs and long extension cords?
• Are there proper heat controls on your electrical iron and all electrical appliances used for cooking?
• Do you have special circuits for heavy duty appliances?
• Do you use only 15 amp fuses for your household lighting circuits?
• Are all extension cords of the right size, in the open, and not under rugs or through partitions or openings?
• Do you keep your basement, closets and attic clear of rags, papers and other combustible materials?
• After using oily polishing rags, do you destroy them or place them in covered metal cans?
• If you store paint, varnish, and other items, do you keep the containers tightly closed?
• Has everyone in your family been warned never to use gasoline or other flammable liquids for cleaning clothes, furnishings or floors?
Heating and Cooking Hazards
• If you use oil heat or gas heat, is the equipment listed by the proper laboratories such as UL or the American Gas Association?
• Before the heating season begins, do you have your heating system inspected and serviced?
• If you have a wood burning stove, has it been installed properly according to manufacturers instructions?
• Do you burn seasoned wood and is it stored in the proper place?
• Are all vent connectors and flue pipes that pass through attics, floors, ceilings and walls properly installed?
• Is your kitchen stove, including the oven and the broiler, kept clean of grease?
• Do all portable heaters in your home bear the label of Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) or some other recognized safety testing agency?
• If you use a portable heater, is it placed well away from any and all combustible materials?
• Do you always refill the fuel tank of your kerosene heater outdoors?
• Since portable kerosene heaters use up oxygen when they burn, do you always have adequate ventilation?
• Do you always turn off the portable heater when you go to bed?
• Do you make sure that the fuel is not contaminated prior to using it in your kerosene heater?
• Is your inside basement door at the head of the stairs properly fitted and kept closed at night?
• Has everyone in the family been warned never to use any flammable liquids to start a fire in the stove, fireplace or furnace?
• Is every fireplace equipped with a sturdy metal fire screen?
Yard and Garage Hazards
• Do you keep your yard cleaned of leaves, debris, and combustible rubbish?
• If you keep gasoline for use in a power mower or outboard motor, is it stored in a strong, clearly labeled red gasoline safety-type can?
• If your garage is attached to the house, is it separated by a fire rated door which is kept closed?
• If you store kerosene, is it placed in an approved blue and white container that is clearly labeled kerosene?
Especially for Parents
• Do you keep matches out of the reach of children?
• Do you leave a responsible person with your children when you go out, even for a little while?
• When you employ babysitters, do you instruct them carefully on what to do in case of a fire?
• Are you careful never to leave children alone in a room with a portable heater or wood stove?
• IMPORTANT: A child learns by example as well as by instruction. In regard to fire safety, do you always set a good example?
In Case of Fire
• Do you know the telephone number of your fire department?
• Do you know how to turn in a fire alarm?
• Do you have an escape plan with at least two ways out of every room in your home?
• Have you practiced that escape plan by holding fire drills in your home?
• Do you have a smoke detector installed on every level of your home?
• Do you test your detector weekly to insure that it is in proper working order?
Smoke alarms save lives. Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms at all or no smoke alarms that work. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Children playing near water must be supervised at all times!! Children are curious by nature and will attempt anything if given the chance. Children have drowned in as little as a bucket of water that a parent was using to wash a car, have drowned when left alone in a bathtub or near a pool or open water. It is the responsibility of the parent or pool owner to ensure that children are not left unattended near a body of water. A pool owner should make sure there is a locked gate surrounding an in-ground pool or make sure the ladder is removed from an above-ground pool. When near open water, proper life-saving floatation devices must be used. Above all else, remember that children near water must be supervised at all times!