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Westport FD: Preventing Summer Fires at Your Home

Following a recent home fire, the Westport Fire Department weighs in on how you can protect your house from danger.

 

Whether you’re outside barbecuing with family and friends or cranking your air conditioner throughout a hot day, the summer months bring a higher risk of fire for homeowners.

One common cause of fire is from people disposing of coals too early after grilling with charcoal.

“It’s the , but it can happen with barbecue ashes,” Assistant Chief and Training Officer Robert Yost said of the tragic Christmas Day 2011 house fire that .

Coals  with a lid, which can be found at any hardware store.  If you’re not a fan of grilling over coals and you use a propane grill, it is a good idea to check your gas line to ensure that is it is in good shape. Older gas grills can leak and cause a dangerous scenario if it goes unnoticed and the grill gets lit.  

“The grill has been sitting there, rusting all winter and then you suddenly go to use it,” Yost said, recognizing the potential risk caused by normal wear and tear on a grill.

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After an outdoor party or cookout it is always refreshing to step inside into an ice-cold house. Of course, keeping your home cool and dry during the hot summer months can certainly rack up your electricity bill, but it can also put your home at risk if proper precautions are not taken, according Yost.

Yost reminded homeowners that extension cords should never be used connect a window or wall air conditioner to an outlet. Also, the outlet being used must be rated for the wattage the air conditioner consumes. Furthermore, an air conditioner and dehumidifier should never be plugged into the same outlet, as it will overload the power circuit. 

“Summers are always busy. More people are in town,” Yost said, adding that people spend less time in New York City and more time at home with their families. “Just like the holidays, people are doing more things. They are barbecuing and having parties and picnics.”

The number one way to keep your home safe is by having working smoke detectors with fresh batteries, according to Yost. Batteries should be changed twice a year, something homeowners generally do when they set their clocks back and forward.

The that burst into flames and set fire to a set of window curtains. The fire remains under investigation by the Westport Fire Marshal. 

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