Burton firefighters offer safety tips

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With the recent rash of serious fires in Beaufort County resulting in one critical injury and several close calls, the Burton Fire District would like to offer some simple safety tips to keep your home and family safe.

“People today are worried about natural disasters and terrorism, but give no thought to the one tragedy that can strike their family tonight, and they have full control of, and that is fire,” states Burton Firefighter Dan Byrne. Byrne stresses the one common denominator to the recent fires is smoke detectors. “Homes that had them had much better results than those that did not,” stated Byrne.

Burton firefighters offer these tips:

• A watched pot never burns. Never leave cooking unattended. A spark reaches explosive temperatures in less than 5 minutes; about the same time it takes for you to leave the stove to use the bathroom or check the mail.

• Have smoke detectors with a battery inside and outside all bedrooms and all living levels of your home in the vicinity of the stairway.

• Mount an ABC fire extinguisher by an exit were it can be quickly seen, accessed, and used. Do not hide them in closets and under sinks where they cannot be grabbed.

• Do not overload outlets and power strips. Ensure your power strips are UL or FM approved, are not overloaded, inspected for damage, and cleaned regularly.

• Extension cords are not permanent wiring and should be unplugged when you’re done.

• If it has heat, then 3 feet: Anything that generates heat, from stoves to heaters, should be 3 feet from combustibles such as drapes, bed linens, and furniture.

• If you live in a two story home ensure bedrooms on the upper floors have home rescue ladders. These can be purchased at most department stores.

• Close doors at night and when leaving for the day. Doors will protect young lungs, allow time for escape, and confine fires until the fire department can arrive and limit damage.

“Above all, take a second to do a safety check of your home before you go to bed or leave for the day.  Check for these and other hazards and please utilize your fire department before you have an emergency. It is our job to protect you and we can best do that by preventing the emergency in the first place,” states Byrne.

The Burton Fire District is available to its residents to install smoke detectors, perform safety inspections, discuss any hazard prevention, or any safety issue that concerns you. Please call 843-521-5550 for any questions.