Most fatal house fires start at night when residents are asleep inside. Although many people mistakenly believe that if their house caught fire, the smoke would wake them, that is not always the case. Poisonous gasses from the fire can numb the senses, putting persons asleep inside into an even deeper sleep.
Smoke alarms may wake you up sooner, allowing you extra time to escape, thereby cutting your risk of dying in a house fire in half.
For minimum protection, a smoke alarm should be placed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. The Garden City Residential Code requires a smoke alarm to be placed in each sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. On each additional story of the dwelling, including the basement of any newly constructed one and two-family dwellings. Since smoke rises, alarms should be mounted high on the wall (4"-12" from the ceiling) or on the ceiling. Smoke alarms should not be installed too close to windows, doors, or forced-air registers, where drafts could interfere with their operation.
Once installed, it is equally important to change the batteries regularly. Smoke alarms should also be cleaned at least once a year since dust or cobwebs can decrease the device's smoke sensitivity.
Being awakened by a smoke detector is not enough. You and your family should develop an escape plan, with two possible escape routes from each room, so everyone knows what to do if there is a fire.
For additional information, contact the Garden City Fire Department at (620) 276-1140
All heaters are dangerous if not used properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, most home-heating fires involve portable or "space" heaters, so electric heaters must be selected and used with care.
- Choose models with automatic safety switches that turn off the unit if it is tipped over accidentally.
- Always look for a label or tab indicating the heater has been tested/approved by a recognized independent testing lab.
Portable electric heaters are for temporary use only during power outages or repairs to the main heating unit, and not as permanent supplements to your main heating unit.
If you are going to use portable electric heaters, please make sure that you:
- Check the cord before plugging in the heater; if frayed, worn or broken, do not use it. Either have an electrician replace the cord or replace the heater. Simply putting tape on the cord is not enough to prevent overheating and fire.
- Never use an extension cord with a portable heater.
- Keep portable electric heaters away from sinks, tubs, and other wet or damp places to avoid deadly electric shocks.
- Keep any portable heater at least three feet away from curtains, newspapers, or anything that might burn.
- Never leave the heater unattended and never leave the house or go to bed without turning off the heater. Do not hang items to dry above the heater.
- Keep all heaters out of high traffic and exit areas.
All fireworks are prohibited from being discharged in the city limits of Garden City. Snakes and caps are legal since they are not classified as fireworks.
The information found below may help in answering questions or inquiries regarding fireworks in Garden City.
The International Fire Code 2003 Edition was adopted by city ordinance. Section 3301 of the International Fire Code prohibits the storage, use, and handling of fireworks.
The definition of fireworks is listed in the Garden City Code of Ordinances 62-12. It is unlawful to sell, use or discharge fireworks in the City of Garden City with the exception of snakes and caps.
Violating the Garden City Code of Ordinances by using fireworks is a Class C violation that may result in a fine up to $500.00 and/or shall not exceed one month in jail. It also may result in the remainder of the fireworks being confiscated.
Questions may arise that the above information does not answer. If anyone should have any questions please contact the Garden City Fire Marshal (620) 276-1140.
The gas carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, tasteless and poisonous. Nearly 1,800 people die each year from carbon monoxide exposure and about 10,000 more seek medical attention for it. Everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, but infants, children, senior citizens and people with carbon monoxide coronary or respiratory problems stand the greatest risk.
Why is carbon monoxide so dangerous?
The great danger of carbon monoxide is its attraction to hemoglobin in the bloodstream. Carbon monoxide is breathed in through the lungs and bonds with hemoglobin in the blood, displacing the oxygen cells need to function. When carbon monoxide is present in the air, it rapidly accumulates in the blood, forming a toxic compound knows as carboxyhemoglobin (COHb).
Where does carbon monoxide come from?
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of combustion, which means it is emitted when any fuel is burned. Common sources of carbon monoxide in the home include:
- Blocked chimney opening
- Clogged chimney
- Portable heater
- Gas or wood burning fireplace
- Improperly installed gas kitchen range or carbon monoxide top vent
- Gas clothes dryer
- Operating barbecue grill in enclosed area such as a garage
- Corroded or disconnected water heater vent pipe
- Leaking chimney pipe or flue
- Cracked heat exchanger
- Automobile exhaust
All of these sources can contribute to a carbon monoxide problem in the home. If a home is vented properly and is free from appliance malfunctions, air pressure fluctuations or airway blockages, carbon monoxide will most likely be safely vented to the outside. But in today's energy efficient homes this is frequently not the case. Insulation meant to keep warm air in during winter months can trap carbon monoxide polluted air in a home year round. Furnace heat exchangers can crack, vents can become blocked, inadequate air supply for combustion appliances can cause conditions known as back drafting or reverse stacking, which force contaminated air back into the home.
How can I protect myself from carbon monoxide poisoning?
How will you know if carbon monoxide is present in your home? You won't without a carbon monoxide detector. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble the flu, without a fever. Dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headache and irregular breathing are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. You should be concerned if you have any of these symptoms and they disappear when you leave your house, only to return when you get home.
The Garden City Fire Department recommends installing at least one carbon monoxide detector per household, near the sleeping area. A second detector near the home's heat source provides extra protection. Choose an Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) listed detector that sounds an audible alarm.
What to do:
- Have your heating system, including chimney and vents, serviced by a licensed technician each year.
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned if you use a wood or coal-burning stove.
- Install one, preferably two carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Read, understand and follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation.
- Test your carbon monoxide detectors on a regular basis to ensure they are working properly.
- Provide some ventilation in the winter, even if it's just a slightly open window.
- Ensure only qualified technicians install fuel-burning appliances.
- Read, understand and follow the manufacturer's directions for all fuel-burning appliances in your home.
- Service your motor vehicle on a regular basis to keep it running correctly.
- Seek medical attention and call 911 if you feel any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Dial 9-1-1 and evacuate your home immediately if your carbon monoxide detector sounds. Leave your doors and windows closed so the Fire Department can more accurately determine if carbon monoxide is present.
What not to do:
- Never heat your home with the oven or range burner.
- Never install carbon monoxide detectors that do not meet the requirements of UL 2034.
- Never idle your automobile, even for a minute, in your garage.
- Never perform your own maintenance on fuel-burning appliances. Hire a licensed technician.
- Never attempt to bypass a safety device on any fuel-burning appliance.
- Never ignore a smell of fuel. This indicates a problem with the appliance or a leak in the fuel system.
- Never run snow blowers, lawn mowers or similar appliances inside your garage.
- Never use gas or charcoal grills inside a garage.
- Never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm.
- Never drive a vehicle with a defective or leaking exhaust system.
The Garden City Fire Department recommends that every home have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide poisoning causes thousands of deaths each year because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless and often goes undetected until it’s too late.
If you have any questions about carbon monoxide detectors or their installation please call the Garden City Fire Department at (620) 276-1140.