With South Carolina in the potential path of Hurricane Dorian, State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones is urging citizens to be fire safe.
“The first priority is to be prepared by having a basic disaster supply kit,” Jones said. “A supply kit should include several items. These include bottled water (one gallon per person per day for three days), a three-day supply of food along with a manual can opener, a battery-operated portable radio, first aid kit, flashlight, an extra set of batteries, and a fire extinguisher. After assembling the kit, keep it in a designated place.”
During a hurricane, there is an anticipated loss of power. It is important to remember that the use of candles and portable generators can pose additional hazards. South Carolinians can reduce their risks of becoming a fire casualty by identifying potential hazards and following these safety tips:
- Use a sturdy candle holder and place on an uncluttered surface.
- Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
- Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
- Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish it upon leaving the room.
- Operate a generator in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from doors, windows, and vent openings.
- Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Place generators so exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors, or other openings.
- Never refuel a generator while it is running. Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling.
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
· Store generator fuel in a properly labeled container. Store the container outside of living areas.
Chief Jones also offers these cooking related fire safety tips:
· Ensure the eyes of the stove are turned off - especially if cooking during a power outage.
· Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home or garage, unless specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in an enclosed area.
Never burn charcoal inside a home or garage.
Lastly, if there is a fire emergency, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible and remain outdoors. Never return inside a burning building.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Fire Academy make up the Division of Fire and Life Safety, which is a division of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.