Proactive Fire Prevention Efforts
The best way to practice fire safety is through proactive fire prevention efforts. After all, you don’t have to escape a fire if one never starts! Fires start for all sorts of reasons - many people don’t stop to think about all of the potential fire hazards right in their own homes. For your safety, we’ve provided a list of common fire hazards and helpful fire prevention tips:
- Smoke alarms - Probably the best things you can do to prevent an uncontrollable fire is to install and maintain smoke alarms all over your home. Make sure to test and change batteries frequently! A smoke alarm can alarm you before a fire gets too big or provide you with enough warning to leave the house in time.
- Don’t smoke in bed - In fact, don’t smoke at all! If they don’t kill you long-term, cigarettes can smolder when dropped on furniture or carpets and cause fires.
- Turn off portable heaters / blankets - This one is especially valid in Pennsylvania winters. If you’re leaving the room for more than a few minutes, turn off any space heaters or electric blankets. They can heat up excessively if left unattended.
- Keep flammables at least 3 feet from anything that heats up - That goes for stovetops, candles, space heaters, curling irons, or anything else you may have in your home that generates heat. Many common flammable chemicals come in compressed, canned form and can explode if exposed to excessive heat - even without a flame!
- Be careful with candles - Make sure to keep them away from paper, carpets, towels, or anything else flammable. Make sure you extinguish them if you won’t be around to watch them.
- Watch your electronics - Don’t use anything with a frayed or taped power cord. It can cause electricity to arc and start a fire or electrocute you! The cords to most electronics can be replaced at your local electronics/appliance dealer for much cheaper than replacing your house when it sets ablaze because you couldn’t say goodbye to the mostly-electrical-tape extension cord.
- Home oxygen - If you or anyone in your household uses a home oxygen tank, be extremely careful! You are probably already familiar with the dangers of pure oxygen, but make sure to check the equipment for any failures or defects frequently!
Knox Box Rapid-Entry Boxes
Another tool available to our fire fighters and businesses are Knox Box Rapid-Entry Boxes.
These boxes give emergency responders access to business structures that cannot be gained immediately. The emergency responders will be able to use a key to access the secured boxes that businesses will locate outside their establishment for quick entry when a representative is not available to allow access during an undetermined alarm. Many alarms that a department may respond to during the year are not true emergencies but must be investigated when triggered.
The boxes allow entry without having to break down doors for entrance in these situations and having to unnecessarily burden the volunteers with that decision. The township will invest $7,200 in providing each of the 12 fire departments with the corresponding secure keys to enter these boxes. This Rapid-entry program will be voluntary but highly recommended to businesses in the Township.
For additional information please visit Knox Box Website
Fire & Life Safety Inspections
The fire and life safety inspection program was created in 2015 by ordinance of the Township of Hempfield. The goal of the program is to have every commercial building in Hempfield Township be free of fire hazards and to ensure compliance with the Hempfield Township Fire Prevention Code. The Township Code Enforcement Office and our third party inspection service, Commonwealth Enforcement Agency, administers this fire prevention code and life safety code.