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Safety Tips
Turkey Fryer Safety

The latest trend in preparing a Turkey is deep frying it takes only 45 minutes rather than several hours. However, if you don't take precautions, you may end up with an injury or fire.  Last year, turkey fryers were responsible for over 50 fires in the United States.  “UL considers turkey fryers to be dangerous to use presenting numerous safety hazards to consumers. Based on their test findings, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with their trusted UL Mark.”

  • Follow your fryer's instructions.
  • Use oils with high smoke points such as peanut, canola and safflower. Peanut oil adds flavor, but it can be a concern if guests have peanut allergies.
  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors with a safe distance from buildings and any other material that can burn.Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks, in the garage or other combustible surface.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat dry surface to reduce accidental tipping.Never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Keep all children or pets away from the fryer when in use.
  • Even after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot, hours after use.To avoid a spill, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use leather gloves, well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed.
  • Oil and water don't mix, and water causes oil to spill over, causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • Keep an all-purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. 
  • Oil and water do not mix. If a fire occurs, evacuate and call 911 for help.Underwriters Laboratories has an excellent video showing the hazards turkey fryers expose when used improperly.

Brush Fire Safety

Landscaping Tips
  • Remove weeds and keep grass cut.
  • Any dead and piled up vegetation should be disposed of properly.
  • If you have any firewood left over from the winter, stack it away from structures.
  • Limit the use of flammable plants in your landscaping, contact your local home and garden center if you have questions about safe plants.
  • Plant trees and shrubs with room to grow in sparse and separate areas, and choose trees that don't have too many branches. The distance from tree to house should always be greater than the height of the tree.
  • Try not to use plants that develop dead undergrowth.
  • Try not to place plants too close to structures and under overhangs or eaves.
  • Provide adequate water to keep plants healthy and green.
  • Keep sprinkler systems in good working order.
  • Trim dead wood off of trees.
Home Maintenance Tips
  • Trash and debris should be properly disposed of. Piles of trash, old home furnishings, boxes, and even cars are potential fire hazards.
  • Store flammable liquids properly.
  • Always dispose of cigarettes carefully.
  • Keep the roof clean and clear. If possible wash the roof on a regular basis.
Exit Drills In The Home (E.D.I.T.H.)

Nobody expects a fire, but it's very important to have a plan just in case there is one. Fire can happen anywhere, in your home, apartment, or place of business.

In case of a fire, what you don't know can hurt you. Keep in mind, fires don't always happen to someone else. Escape plans will differ for each type of building. It's up to you to plan the proper escape from your particular building.

Exit Tips
  • Have a fire escape plan. Have a family meeting to discuss what to do if there is a fire. Practice your plan.
  • Use approved window gates. Do not use a padlock, which will prevent your escape from a fire.
  • Decide on a meeting place outside of the building. By deciding on a meeting place outside and away from the building, you will know if everyone has gotten out safely.
  • Send the alarm. Dial 9-1-1 to report a fire. Use the local fire alarm box.
  • Walk quickly, don't panic. Feel the door on your way out with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, do not open. Close the door behind you to slow the spread of fire.
  • Use the stairs. Don't use the elevator. It may stop and trap you. Try to place one hand in contact with the wall. This may prevent you from getting lost.
  • Stay low and go. If there's smoke, escape by staying very low to the ground where air is cooler.
  • Open a window if trapped. Open the window at the top to let out heat and smoke, and at the bottom to breathe. If you cannot get out, wave a sheet out the window.
  • Don't go back into a fire for anything. Your life is your most valuable possession.

Home Safety Inspection
You can improve fire safety in your home. Start by making a fire safety inspection of your home. Check your house or apartment room by room to see which of these fire hazards you can find. Then take action to correct them.

Inspection Hints and Fixes
  • Remove piles of stored newspapers or other rubbish. Newspapers stored in a damp, warm place may ignite spontaneously.
  • Check for overloaded outlets or old or frayed extension cords.
  • Replace fuses of the wrong size.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Move flammable liquids (cleaning fluids, contact adhesives, etc.) or aerosols stored near the range or other heat source. Remember, even a pilot light can set vapors on fire. Dispose of outdated or empty cans properly.
Safety Tips
  • Remove all materials on or near your stove that could catch on fire, including paper, dishcloths, etc.
  • Put a box of baking soda and a large pot lid next to your stove. Get a kitchen fire extinguisher and learn how to use it.
  • Remove electrical cords from under rugs, those nailed to walls, and behind radiators. Replace old, damaged cords.
  • Move flammable liquids stored near stoves or other heat sources to a safe, distant location.
  • Test your smoke detector regularly and replace batteries twice a year when you change your clock for daylight savings.

Cooking Safety Tips
In order to drastically reduce your risk of a cooking fire, follow this recipe for safety. While cooking:
  • Stay in the kitchen, don't leave cooking food unattended (stand by your pan).
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves (long, loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles).
  • Don't become distracted.
  • Enforce a kid-free zone of three feet around your stove. Turn pot handles inward facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Keep the area around the stove clear of towels, papers, pot holders, or anything that could burn.
  • Cook at indicated temperatures settings rather than higher settings.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food trimmings, or grease accumulation.
  • Have a pot lid handy to smother a pan fire. Do not attempt to pick up the pot or pan. Shut off the heat and cover the fire with a lid.
  • Do not use water. It will cause splashing and spread the fire.
Remember, by planning ahead, you can do a lot to prevent a fire. But once a fire starts in your home, there are only three things to do: get out, close the door behind you, then call 9-1-1 from a neighbors home. Don't go back into a burning building no matter what. If you think someone is trapped inside, tell the firefighters when they arrive.

Grilling Safety and the Law
The careless use of open-flame cooking devices, as well as improper disposal of coals and embers, have historically been the cause of numerous fires at multi-family type occupancies such as apartment and condominium complexes, displacing families and resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. As a result the use of open-flame cooking appliances at multi-family complexes that subsequently became part of the North Carolina Fire Code. The provisions in the code read:
Section 308.3.1 "Open-flame cooking devices":

"Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.
Section 308.3.1.1 "Liquified-petroleum-gas-fueled cooking devices":

"LP-gas burners having an LP-gas container with a water capacity greater than 2.5 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity] shall not be located on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction"
That the grilling laws DO NOT apply to one and two family dwellings and townhomes
Grilling Safety Tips:

  • Never use charcoal lighter fluid on a burning fire.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or charged garden hose accessible.
  • Always shut off the valve to propane tanks when not in use.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and installation instructions.
  • Leave the grill hood open until ignition occurs when lighting gas grills.
  • Do not grill near combustible materials such as pine needles or leaves.

Burn Concerns

Extreme heat, such as flames, hot liquids, hot metal, flash explosions, and the sun's radiation can cause burn injuries. Acid lye and bleach, are only some of the popular chemicals that can cause a burn.

When a burn occurs: 
  • Stop the burning process
  • Remove the heat
  • Stop, drop, and roll
  • If clothes catch fire, smother the flames
  • Do not run - running makes the burn injury worse
  • Call 9-1-1
  • Make the call for help immediately
  • Remove all burned clothing - clothing may retain heat and cause deeper injuries
  • If clothes adhere to skin, cut or tear around the adherent area
  • Pour cool running water over burn
  • Pour water over burned area for 10-15 minutes
  • Do not apply ointments or butter, they may cause infections due to their oil base and provoke deeper injury
  • For minor burn injuries, use an antiseptic spray to relieve and prevent infection
  • Cover with a clean, dry dressing
  • Wash daily with soap and water and change dressing
  • If wound begins to drain excessively or have a foul odor, seek immediate medical attention
  • For larger surface area burns (larger than a fist), cool the area as suggested above, cover with a dry, clean dressing, then seek medical attention immediately
  • When assisting an electrically injured victim:
    • Do not touch the victim if he/she is still touching the source of electricity
    • Dial 9-1-1 for emergency assistance
    • Remove all jewelry, belts, and tight clothing from the burned area, swelling of the burned area occurs immediately
Change the Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors Twice a Year

Do Smoke Detectors Really Save Lives?
Most fatal home fires occur at night, while people are asleep. Poisonous gases and smoke from a fire in your home can numb the senses in a very short time. Every home needs a device that can wake people up in time to escape from a fire. The sound of a smoke detector can do that and cut your chances of dying in a fire by 50%! Currently, 39 states have laws requiring smoke detectors in homes.

How Do I Choose a Smoke Detector?
There are many brands of smoke detectors available but it is important to buy only "labeled" units...those bearing the mark of an organization that tests and evaluates products. Any labeled smoke detector offers adequate protection, but it's vital that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations for installation, testing and maintenance.

How Many Do I Need?
According to the widely accepted Standard on Household Fire Warning Equipment (NFPA 74), minimum protection requires smoke detectors outside each bedroom and on each additional level of the home-including the basement.

For extra protection, NFPA recommends that you also install detectors in the dining room, furnace room, utility room and hallways. If your family sleeps with bedroom doors closed, you might also install detectors inside the bedrooms. Smoke detectors are not usually recommended for kitchens because of false alarms from cooking; or for garages, where exhaust fumes might cause false alarms, or for attics or other unheated spaces, where extremes of temperature or humidity might affect the operation of smoke detectors.

How Do I Install?
To install most smoke detectors, all you need is a screwdriver and a drill. Most smoke detectors operate on batteries or household current. A detector plugged into a wall outlet must have a restraining device so it cannot accidentally be pulled from the outlet. Detectors can also be hard-wired into the electrical system. Never hard-wire a detector to a circuit that can be turned off at a wall switch. 

Because smoke rises, mount the detector high on a wall or on the ceiling to detect the first traces of smoke. For a wall-mounted unit, the top of the detector should be 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling. A ceiling-mounted detector should be placed at least 4 inches from any wall. In a room with a high pitched ceiling, mount the detector on or near the ceiling's highest point.

Most home fires start in living areas-the den, family room or living room. On a floor with no bedrooms, install the required detector in or near the living area. If a stairway leads to an upper story, install the detector in the path where smoke would travel up the stairs.

Don't install a detector near a window, door or air register where drafts could impair the detector's operation. Locate a basement smoke detector close to the stairway leading to the floor above. But don't install the detector at the top of the basement stairs; dead air space near the door may prevent smoke from reaching the detector.

How Do I Maintain?
It's extremely important to test and clean all detectors regularly. Replace the batteries according to the manufacturer's recommendations or at least once a year. When you move into a new home, install new batteries in every smoke detector. 

Never paint a smoke detector and be sure to clean your detectors at least once a year according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing and test yours once a week to make sure you're protected.

What Happens When the Fire Alarm Sounds?
Make sure everyone knows what your smoke detector sounds like. Plan at least two ways out from each room...especially the bedrooms. Set a place to meet outside your home so you'll know everyone is out. Have everyone practice the plan at least twice a year.

In case of a real fire, get out of the building immediately. Once at the meeting place, have one person go to a neighbor's phone to call the fire department. Tell the dispatcher your name and address, and the exact location of anyone who is still in the building. Stay on the phone until you have answered all the dispatcher's questions.

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