Lightning Safety Tips
Summer is the peak time of the year for lightning strikes and lightning fires. However, lightning does occur year-round. It’s important to be prepared for this dangerous weather phenomenon.
Lightning Strike Survivor describes the after effects of a lightning strike.
- If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building, or a hard-topped vehicle right away. Do not go under tall trees for shelter. There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder before leaving your shelter.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
- If you are in or on open water, go to land and seek shelter immediately.
- If you feel your hair stand on end, that means lightning is about to strike, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground. Do not lie flat on the ground. This is a last resort when a building or hard-topped vehicle is not available.
- If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 and get medical care immediately. Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge; attend to them immediately. Check their breathing, heartbeat, and pulse. CPR may be needed.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items, like computers, and turn off air conditioners. If you are unable to unplug them, turn them off. Stay off corded phones, computers, and other electronic equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity or plumbing. Avoid washing your hands, bathing, doing laundry, or washing dishes.
NFPA Lightning Safety Tips
It is difficult for emergency vehicles, utility trucks, postal and delivery trucks to find homes and businesses whose address numbers are not properly posted. Firefighters, emergency vehicles and personnel may need to find your home quickly should an emergency occur.
Your street name and number should be printed in letters and numbers that are no less than 4" tall, in a contrasting color. They should be visible from all directions of travel for at least 150 feet. encourage family and neighbors to post their house numbers, too.
If your home or business is set back from the street or road, post your address at the entrance of your driveway. In situations where more than one home is accessed off a single driveway, all addresses should be posted at the street and each appropriate intersection along the driveway.
House numbers can be posted . . .
directly on your house, business or garage,
by the street, or on a post or sign made of fire-resistant material,
on the mailbox,
on the curb,
or anywhere they can be easily seen from the road.
A clearly posted house number can save precious time should an emergency occur! To check for your 911 assigned address, call (333) 4128 ext. 230 and have your phone number available!
Smoke Alarms and Detectors need to be checked once a month to ensure they are in good working order. The batteries will need to be replaced every 6 months (use New Years Day and July 4th as reminders). When changing the batteries make sure to clean the alarm or detector. Alarms may look clean, but dust can accumulate inside the cover which may prevent them from sounding or cause them to sound needlessly. Gently vacuum smoke alarms regularly using the soft brush attachment or by using canned air to blow the dust out. If you are not sure how to check them, please call the Fire Department (333-4363) for assistance.
Check the NFPA Safety Messages About Smoke Alarms for more detailed information regarding the proper installation of Smoke Alarms and Detectors.
Winter Fire Life-Saving Tips
- Make sure your space heaters have an emergency shut-off in case they tip over. ONLY use the fuel recommended by the manufacturer. Never refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot. Refuel outside, away from the house.
- Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, away from combustible surfaces, have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation. Never use flammable liquids (such as gasoline) to start or accelerate fire.
- Have your furnace and chimney professionally inspected annually and cleaned if necessary. Chimney tar build-up is a common cause of chimney fires.
- Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby carpets and furniture.
- Never thaw frozen pipes with a blow torch or other open flame. Use hot water or a UL listed device such as a hand-held dryer.
- Dispose of hot ashes in metal containers place away from the house.
- Don't use the oven to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
- If there is a fire hydrant near your home, keep it clear of snow for easy access.
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test the batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
Did You Know?
- Eighty percent of all fire deaths occur in the home.
- Electrical fires are a special concern during the winter months which call for more indoor activities and increases in lighting, heating and appliance safety.
- Deaths caused by winter fires are particularly avoidable.