Al's' 23-year-old son, Scott, was one of three UW-Stout students who died in an off-campus house fire on April 5, 2008, while they slept in separate upstairs bedrooms of a duplex at 1415 Eighth St. E. in Menomonie. The blaze was reported at 3:30 a.m.; within 23 minutes the three were pronounced dead at a local hospital ... Read More
Moving     |     Cooking     |     Seasonal Safety     |     Off-Campus     |     Facts

Simple steps you can take to establish a fire-proof home and reduce risk of fires all year round.

Spring Spring Cleaning:

  • Spring cleaning is an important step in creating a safer environment both indoors and outdoors
  • Clean your garage of any old newspapers, cardboard, or other potential fuels for a fire
  • If you store gasoline, keep it in a separate shed or somewhat isolated place.  Only use it as a motor fuel and NEVER as a cleaning agent
  • Clear any debris or dead vegetation around your house
  • If you have to refuel your lawnmower make sure the engine is cool
  • If you have an electric lawn mower do not mow while the grass is wet


Barbeque

Summer Safety:

Improper barbecue handling and maintenance is one of the leading causes of household fires. Exercise care while cooking and be sure to periodically checkup on your unit.

  • Place your barbecue in a safe area, away from any vegetation and your household. If it looks like it could catch on fire, don’t cook by it
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire and also do not use lighter fluid after the flames have ignited
  • Use outdoor grills OUTSIDE at least 10 feet away from surroundings, and watch out for any overarching balconies or sun blockers
  • Regularly check your propane tank for leaks, both on the hoses themselves and the attachments. Never store your propane indoors, but also make sure you store them in well-ventilated areas
  • Propane tanks older than three years old or showing signs of age should be replaced promptly
fall pumpkins

Fall Safety:

  • Make sure you check your smoke detector batteries
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is functional and does not need to be serviced or replaced by following these guidelines:
    • The pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge that means the needle should be in the green zone - not too high and not too low
    • The pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact
    • There are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits and other signs of abuse/wear. Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil, gunk etc. that may have landed on the extinguisher
  • Check to see if any power outlets you have around the house are overburdened with too many electrical appliances
  • In general, keep the rooms of your house relatively clean. A room with clothes lying all over the floor, crowded power outlets, and trash strewn everywhere will ignite much faster than a clean room
fireplace

Winter Safety

  • Winter, especially here in Washington, is especially wet and your dryer has been working hard. Check for lint buildup and inspect the plugs and hoses behind the machine
  • Recognize that holiday decorations have started fatal fires (Bellingham Fire Department requires permits for resin-bearing trees and greenery in public buildings.)
  • Clean up immediately after parties and take all trash outside
  • Keep space heaters and halogen lamps away from flammables
  • Store combustibles away from fireplaces