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Appomattox County uses Appomattox Alert to immediately contact you during a major crisis or emergency. Appomattox Alert delivers important emergency alerts, notifications and updates to you on all your devices:
* Email account (work, home, other)
* Cell phone (via SMS)
* Office phone
Learn your communitys warning signals.
Meet with your family to create a plan.
Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency such as fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school).
Choose an out-of-area friend as your family check-in contact for everyone to call if the family becomes separated.
Implement your plan.
Post emergency telephone numbers by the phones.
Install safety features in your house such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
Inspect your home for potential hazards and correct them.
Have your family learn basic safety and first aid measures.
Make sure everyone knows how and when to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency medical services phone number.
Have disaster supplies on hand.
Check your fire extinguishers
Check for overloaded or damaged extension cords
Prepare for storm related outages (make sure your flashlights and portable radios have batteries and that other supplies, such as bottled water, are stocked and available)
Practice exit drills with your family so everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency
Properly store household chemicals and never mix cleaning agents
Clean up yard debris. Cut back dead limbs and grasses
Maintain a clear 'fire zone' of 10' around structures. Clean up leaves and debris and consider using stone or non-combustible mulches
Check outdoor electrical outlets and other electrical appliances
Get your grill cleaned and serviced. Check all propane tanks and lines for leaks and damage
Keep 100' of garden hose with an attached nozzle connected and ready for use
Check fuels containers for leaks and make sure they are properly stored
Have all power equipment cleaned, serviced and readied for use
Emergency non-perishable foods that do not require refrigeration
Non-electric can opener
One week supply of essential medicines
Extra blankets and sleeping bags
First aid kit and manual
Emergency heating equipment, used properly
Specific causes included:
Ignition of food or other cooking materials
Misuse of cooking equipment / unfamiliarity with equipment and safety procedures
Use of alcohol / drugs / medications before / during cooking
Powering a cooking appliance via an extension cord
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): More than one-quarter (29%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and 6% started in the kitchen.
Position the grill well away from the residence. Do not place your grill directly next to siding, deck railings, extended eves, or below overhanging branches / leaves.
Do not place your grill near or under utility pole wires that may be coming into your house.
Place the grill a safe distance from any kind of foot traffic.
Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring no less than a 3-foot zone around the grill.
Make several different types of long-handled grilling tools available to the parties cooking on the grill to ensure plenty of clearance from heat and flames when cooking food.
Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill as well as on the grill rack itself, so it cannot be ignited by open flame / heat.
Use grill outdoors with the exception of something such as a George Forman grill that is made to be used indoors. If grills are used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, barbecue grills pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to carbon monoxide.
Be very careful when using charcoal starting fluid. Follow the directions on the can and never apply any other kind of additional fluid once the fire has been ignited.
The use of an electronic starter / paper is another method, and pretreated charcoal may also be used.
Place all ashes generated by the charcoal grill into a metal can.
Before each use, check hoses for signs of wear and tear, and that the connection to the tank is tight.
Remove excess grease buildup from the unit, to prevent flare ups.
Periodically check the inside gas tubes for the buildup of spider webs that can cause blockage, causing gas to backflow into the control valves, where it could potentially ignite.
An orange flame is in an indication that there is an obstruction in the gas tubes that lead to the burners. Flame should be blue in color.
When igniting the grille, make sure the lid or cover is in the open position.
Never leave the unit unattended while cooking, and keep children at a safe distance.
Always shut the tank off after each use.
If the unit catches fire, do not attempt to extinguish it, especially if propane is burning freely. CALL THE FIRE DEPT. Propane will reignite with explosive force.
Proper location and placement of the unit is very important. Keep the unit away from the sides or back of your home, as well as open windows. If fire occurs, it will spread to the building.
Use common sense and read the manufacturer’s directions.
On average, 976 brush, grass, or forest fires were reported per day in the United States.
Keep weeds and grass cut.
Provide enough water to keep plants healthy and green. Keep irrigation systems in good working order.
Remove dead and piled up vegetation, and dispose of it properly.
Properly dispose of trash and debris.
Stack any and all that is being put away for storage away from structures, fences, or any other combustible materials.
Create at least 30 foot safe zone around your home that is free of anything that may ignite and spread to the structure.
Keep the roof clear. Sweep gutters and eaves, and wash the roof on a regular basis to get rid of dry needles and leaves.
Trim dead wood off trees that are located close to the residence.
Avoid parking cars, trucks or recreational vehicles on dry grass or brush. Exhaust systems on vehicles can reach a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees; it only takes about 500 degrees to start a brush fire in hotter weather.
Maintain a 10-foot area that is free of brush and shrubbery around grills and propane tanks.
ALWAYS dispose of cigarettes carefully. Do not ever drop cigarettes or matches that are not fully extinguished.? Make sure to keep a shovel, bucket of water, fire extinguisher, or other fire suppression tools on hand in case of emergency.