Overloaded electrical outlets can spark, unattended pots on a hot stove may boil over, combustible material near a wall heater is a recipe for disaster, and a smoke detector can’t do its job if the batteries inside are dead.
In an effort to keep Renton citizens safe from unnecessary personal hardship, Mayor Denis Law proclaimed Oct. 9-15, 2011 as Fire Prevention Week.
“Heating and electrical equipment and smoking materials are among the leading causes of all reported home fires,” law said while reading the proclamation.
Assistant Fire Marshall Dave Pargas reminded the Council and viewing audience that fires are easily preventable, and gave four tips to keep in mind:
- Properly maintain smoke alarms by testing smoke detectors monthly. Adhere to the mantra, “change your batteries, change your clocks.”
- Have a plan in place in case of a fire, including escape routes and a meeting place so firefighters know that everyone is accounted for when they arrive to a fire.
- Practice safe cooking: don’t leave pots unattended, keep loose-hanging clothes away from burners and if grease catches fire, put a lid on it instead of dousing it with water.
- Avoid electrical problems by keep combustibles away from wall heaters and be careful not to overload electrical outlets with too many plugs.
Cooking and electrical fire continue to affect Renton residents and businesses, Pargas said, noting the $2.7 million dollar loss in downtown Renton on Wells Street several years ago due to an overloaded outlet, and the recent .