By Kevin Hagler
DULUTH — A dramatic scene developed Monday as an apartment fire broke out in Gwinnett county. Tenant Eric Eberly was hanging on for dear life when the fire department rescued him from a burning building. Yikes!
The Atlanta Red Cross responded and helped relocate some displaced victims. (Check out the dramatic story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
With the risk of embarrasing myself for emulating one Smokey Bear, this had me thinking: Are YOU prepared for a home fire?
And make sure to check out safety tips for home fire preparedness below:
- Keep all potential fuel sources like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away from space heates, stoves, or fireplaces.
- Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- When buying a space heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over as another safety measure.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
- Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
- Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and furnaces professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.
Smoke alarms save lives. You should:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Check monthly that smoke alarms are working properly by pushing the test button.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.