Middlesex County Encourages Safety During Fire Prevention Month

Freeholder H. James Polos

Freeholder H. James Polos

MIDDLESEX COUNTY – Firefighters, students and other volunteers across the county will be engaged this month in lessons on fire safety for National Fire Prevention Month, held annually each October.

“Middlesex County has many dedicated residents who serve their communities – either as volunteer or as career firefighters — in the event of fire,” said Freeholder H. James Polos, chair of the Department of Public Safety and Health. “I thank them for their service and encourage all our residents to discuss the importance of fire safety with their families as an effective way to reduce the risks and ensure everyone is protected.”

There are many things residents can do to keep homes and families safe all year round, Polos said.
The Middlesex County Department of Public Safety and Health, The National Fire Protection Association and U.S. Fire Administration offer these tips for fire safety in your home:

  • Install carbon-monoxide alarms as well as smoke alarms, and replace the batteries every six months. Schedule a yearly inspection of any fuel-burning heating system, such as furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, wood stoves and water heaters.
  • Go over rules with older children and plan and practice a safety escape, in case a fire does happen. Teach young children, especially those under the age of five, that fire is not a toy or something fun.
  • Use a generator only outside and far away from windows, doors or vents. Never use one inside, even if the windows and doors are open.

Fire safety and prevention also should be an important part of household chores. When cooking, don’t leave the kitchen or the house, and set a timer as a reminder.

There are about 2,900 clothes dryer fires each year that can be prevented by removing excess lint, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Clean the lint filter before and after each load, clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months, and clean in back of the dryer where lint can accumulate.

Take precautions while using any electrical equipment or appliances, and only use equipment that’s been labeled by a recognized testing laboratory. Replace worn or damaged appliance cords — don’t try to repair them. It also is advised to plug space heater appliances directly into outlets instead of extension cords or power strips. Always hire a qualified electrician to do any electrical work.

“I encourage all of our residents to take the necessary precautions to protect their homes, families and businesses,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “We all strive for a safe Middlesex County and in working together, we can achieve it.”

If you have any questions about fire safety and prevention, call the Middlesex County Fire Marshal at 732-316-7171 or your local fire department.

The Middlesex County Fire Marshal offers fire safety inspections and permits, equipment certifications and programs for schools and seniors. For more information on these and other services, visit http://co.middlesex.nj.us/firemarshal/index.asp.

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