By Ashley Burroughs Cicero, N.Y. (NCC News)– It’s the start of the holiday season and with Thanksgiving next week, people are cooking big meals and starting their fireplaces. Although this is one of the most joyous times of the year and coldest in Central New York, this is also a time where house fires happen more frequently.
It is important to keep a fire extinguisher in a place that is easily accessible when a fire occurs. There was a recall on the Kidde fire extinguisher because some have become clogged and failed to work during an emergency. There was one death reported because of malfunctioning extinguisher.
Since this recall, firefighters are advising people even more to check their fire extinguishers every month to make sure it is usable.
When checking a fire extinguisher:
- Make sure there are no dents or cracks in it
- Make sure the gauge/needle is in the green section and not in the recharge section
The recharge section shows that there’s not enough pressure to expel the contents in the extinguisher. If pressure is too low, the local fire department will fill up your extinguisher. Although it is important to use a fire extinguisher in case if an emergency, it should only be used as an escape method.
“The main emphasis should be to get out of the house and to your meeting place to call 9-1-1 not to necessarily try to extinguish the fire what that does is delay the alarm to the fire department if the fire isn’t extinguished via the extinguisher,” Pienokowski said.
According to Pienokowski, most house fires occur because homeowners aren’t keeping up with the maintenance of the fireplace. Homeowners should have their fireplace inspected at least once a year by a professional for safety precautions.
Nelson Aquino, a homeowner in Cicero, already taken matters into his own hands and has set up an emergency plan for his family in case a fire starts in the house.
“I don’t think we are going to have a problem but if we do I have a small fire extinguisher and if that doesn’t work I will follow suit and both my grandson and the whole family will get the hell out and call from the neighbor’s house. You can always replace a house,” Aquino said.