- Make sure smoke detectors are working properly. Test the batteries at least once a month. Batteries should be changed once a year.
- Smoke detectors should be located on every level of the home and inside each bedroom.
- Never remove the battery to silence an alarm. Instead, if a detector is in an area where nuisance alarms happen, consider replacing it with a detector that has a silencing button. Note: removing a battery or disabling a smoke detector is a misdemeanor. See Mankato’s city code.
- If a detector is activating unnecessarily because of cooking, consider replacing it with one that uses a photoelectric sensor. These types are less susceptible to nuisance cooking alarms.
- Report a non-working smoke detector to landlord within 24 hours of discovering it.
- Avoid cooking if sleepy, have taken medication that causes drowsiness, or after drinking alcohol.
- Grease fires are a leading cause of fires in Mankato. Never use water on a grease fire. If a grease fire occurs, put a lid on the pan to smother the fire. Shut off the burner when safe to do so.
- Unattended cooking is another cause of kitchen fires. Do not leave food cooking on a stovetop unattended.
- Keep combustibles such as pot holders, rags and dish towels away from cooking surfaces.
- Turn pot handles away from the stove top edge, so they aren’t bumped.
Carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be potentially fatal. This gas is produced by fuel burning appliances such as gas stoves, furnaces and clothes driers. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed within 10 feet of each bedroom. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, call 911.
- Keep recreational fires between two feet high and three feet wide and at least 25 feet away from buildings, items that can combust and grass, trees and shrubbery.
- Stay with recreational fires so they don’t get out of hand. Make sure to have a way to put the fire out, such as a garden house, fire extinguisher, dirt, sand and a shovel.
- When having a recreational fire make sure to only burn wood from trees, small branches, brush or charcoal. Items that cannot be burned are grass clippings, construction debris and garbage.
- Keep neighbors in mind because heavy smoke may reach their personal properties.
- A police officer or firefighter may have the fire extinguished if the above guidelines are not followed.
- Use and store barbecue grills outdoors.
- Avoid grilling on any balconies above ground level (for apartments with three or more units).
- When grilling on the ground level, place the grill at least 15 feet away from the building. An exception is given if the deck or patio has a sprinkler system.
- Store charcoal briquettes in a dry area because damp or wet charcoal can spontaneously heat when dried.
- Allow charcoal briquettes to cool naturally after use for 48 hours before disposing.
- Store lighter fluid away from a home’s living areas.
- Keep propane cylinders outside, and at least 20 feet from doors and windows.
In case of fire call 911.