By Julie Randolph, Care Coordinator
“Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” is the 2020 National Fire Prevention Week theme. The proclamation of Fire Prevention Week was made by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 and is observed each year during the week in which October 9 falls. Here are some ideas to enhance your personal fire and home safety.
Replace smoke alarms after 10 years of service. Replace detector batteries every spring and fall when daylight savings time changes. Mark one day each month on your calendar to test your detectors. If you have barriers to obtaining or replacing smoke alarms, Senior Services, in partnership with American Red Cross and Midland Fire Department and Mid Michigan Health, provides smoke alarms and installation, free of charge to seniors, through our Handyman volunteers. Please contact Senior Services at 633-3700 for assistance.
The Midland Police and Fire Departments suggest:
- Citizen Emergency Information Form: It is important to convey any medical, mobility, or other unique issues along with key holder, alarm, and pet information to help police officers, fire fighters, and EMS provide the best emergency assistance. An easy tool is available and accessed by visiting www.midland911.org. Tap on Get Help With then tap on Citizen Emergency Information Form. There you will find a document to complete and email as instructed, or print and mail to the Midland County Central Dispatch 2727 Rodd Street Midland Michigan 48640.
- Secure Key Box: In the event of an emergency, we are often not able to open the door for the assistance team. The Midland Fire Department encourages the use of a secure key box to pre-arrange safe entry into your home. If you live in the City of Midland, in Jerome Township, or in the City of Coleman visit www.knoxbox.com and select Residential lockbox purchase and order the key lockbox of your choice that you would like to purchase for your home. The site will request your local Fire Department information which will initiate a message to the respective fire department, they will verify the accuracy for the company and authorize the order. When the item arrives it will include instructions to contact the Fire Department for reporting and installation. If you live outside of these areas, contact your local township for options and instructions.
Household appliances, such as boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, and open fires which use gas, oil, coal and wood may be possible sources of carbon monoxide gas. Proper ventilation is required to avoid poisoning. Senior Services provides Carbon Monoxide Detectors and installation, free of charge to seniors, through our Handyman volunteers. Please contact Senior Services at 633-3700 for assistance.
Annual furnace maintenance is an important part of preparing for the winter months. Furnaces produce heat through burning fuel, and it is important to ensure that the combustion process is efficient. Having annual furnace maintenance will help catch any potential safety risks, give you peace of mind that your furnace is working properly, and up to code. Changing filters regularly and installing a programmable thermostat can increase efficiency of your system.
Check your fire extinguishers for efficacy by reading the green gauge. Local hardware stores may assist with determination. If expired, discard on your heavy refuse pick up day and refrain from discarding in the regular garbage bin.
Remember to PASS:
- Pull the operating pin from the extinguisher handle.
- Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle.
- Sweep the fire at the base.
If memory or vision impairments make food preparation unsafe or difficult, please contact Senior Services at 989-633-3700 for evaluation of eligibility for our Meal on Wheels program.
Taking these proactive steps can save your life and the lives of your loved ones!