Four small fires set in newspaper boxes over the past two days in the University District and on Capitol Hill serve as a reminder to all of us to stay aware of our surroundings. In light of these recent fires and because May 1-7 marks national Arson Awareness Week, the following are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of an arson fire.
KEEP IT CLEAN
- Securely close lids of trashcans, dumpsters and recycle bins.
- Clear weeds and litter from around buildings.
- If you live in an apartment building, keep all exit paths and common areas free of paper, trash or other items that can burn.
LIGHT IT UP, LOCK IT UP
- Lock doors and windows when leaving.
- Leave indoor and outdoor lights on during hours of darkness.
- Install devices that automatically turn on outdoor lights when they sense darkness or movement outside the home.
MOVE IT AWAY
- Locate dumpsters, recycling bins and yard waste containers at least five feet away from combustible walls and openings of roof eave lines.
READY, SET, GO
- Check smoke alarms to make sure they are working.
- Have an escape plan for all members of your family. Be sure it includes all exits and a meeting place.
- Have fire extinguishers and know how to use them.
More home fire safety information can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/fire/pubEd/homesafety/homeFireSafety.htm