Safety Tips

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Each year hundreds of people die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and these deaths may have been prevented by the installation of a CO alarm. CO is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is produced by wood, coal, charcoal, natural gas, propane, gasoline, oil, kerosene, methane, and other common fuels.

  • Effective August 1, 2008, Minnesota required that all existing single-family homes be equipped with an approved carbon monoxide alarm.
  • A carbon monoxide detector must be installed within 10 feet from any room used for sleeping.
  • All detectors must be hardwired, direct plugin (without a switch), or battery powered. Battery back up is strongly recommended on the electrical detectors.
  • Test your CO alarm once a month.
  • Keep vents, both intake and exhaust clear of obstructions.
  • If you need to warm up your vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not let it idle inside your garage.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home. This is a fire and health hazard.

Cooking Fires

Cooking fires remain the number one cause of fires throughout the United States. The same holds true in Minnesota where 74% of all structure fires are in residential homes and 45% of those fires are caused by cooking.

Grease Fire

  • If a pan of food catches fire prevent flare-ups by leaving the pan covered until it is completely cool.
  • Do not throw water on a grease fire. This could splatter the burning grease and spread the fire.
  • Carefully cover the fire with a lid by sliding it on the pan. Turn off the heat source and let it cool completely before trying to handle it.
  • Use a fire extinguisher and don't get too close to the fire. The powder that is discharged under pressure in the extinguisher may spread the fire if you are too close.
  • Report the fire even if you think you have it extinguished.
  • Evacuate the house as soon as your safety is compromised and call 9-1-1.

Oven Fires

  • Turn off the heat and leave the door closed.
  • If there's anything combustible close to the oven relocate it if it is safe to do so.
  • Evacuate the house as soon as your safety is compromised and call 9-1-1.

Microwave Fires

  • Keep the door closed and unplug the microwave.
  • Evacuate the house as soon as your safety is compromised and call 9-1-1.