You've heard the age-old technique: stop, drop, and roll. But what if you could prevent deadly fires from the start?
It's on us, the citizens of Knox County, to educate ourselves on proper fire prevention techniques. Not only can house fires affect you, but they can affect your loved ones, neighbors, and community. However, there are simple steps and procedures that each of us can take to prevent a catastrophe. You can count on the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District to come to your rescue in such an event, but in the meantime, it is much better the be proactive rather than reactive.
41% of home structure fires start in the kitchen!
Do Not Leave Your Stove or Oven Unattended
If you are cooking using a heat source, be sure to stay in the kitchen at all times. If you must leave, ask another adult in the family to stay in the kitchen in case of emergency.
Never throw water on a grease fire! Instead, grab a lid or baking sheet to smother the flames.
When using any sort of slow cooker, toaster, or instant pot, make sure to unplug the appliance when you're done.
And of course, be sure to have a designated fire extinguisher for your kitchen in case of emergency!
Christmas Trees & Holiday Lights
Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or woodburning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.
Maintain Your Holiday Lights
Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be warm to the touch.
Do Not Leave Holiday Lights on Unattended
If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.
Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree
Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame - candles, lighters or matches.
Heating Equipment & Faulty Wiring
If you use a portable heater, be sure to place it away from any and all combustible materials. Also, ensure that it is turned off before you go to bed.
Make sure that your carbon monoxide alarms are installed and working properly, as common fuel-burning devices such as stoves and furnaces can be a potential hazard.
If your fuses frequently blow, your lights dim significantly when using another appliance, or you're only able to use one appliance at a time, your wiring could be a potential fire hazard. Be sure to have your wiring checked out by a professional electrician.