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Community Risk Reduction

Most of us don’t think that a fire or accident will ever happen in our house.  It always happens to other people. We, the Nevada Fire Fighters / EMS can attest that that may not be true.  We will do our best to protect you and your property in the event of a fire and or accident.  But, we need your help.  Here are a few reminders:

Smoke Detectors

  • If you don’t have smoke detectors, get them and install them immediately.  If you don’t know the proper placement of them in your house, don’t hesitate to contact us at the fire station, 515-382-4593.
  • If you do have smoke detectors, check the batteries and make sure the smoke detector functions.

The sooner the fire can be detected, the better your chances of getting you and your family out safely!

And while on the subject of smoke alarms, here are a couple of other things to think about:

  1. If you have elderly or disabled families in your neighborhood, volunteer to check their smoke detectors.
  2. If they don’t have smoke detectors, volunteer to help install them.
  3. In cases for the hard of hearing, the deaf, and the blind, there are alarms available which emit a flashing light, vibration/sound, which can alert others of an emergency.

Where should your smoke detectors be located:

  1. A smoke alarm should be placed on every level of your home, even the basement.
  2. It’s very important to have one mounted in every sleeping area.
  3. If the bedroom door is closed during sleep, have the smoke alarms inter-connected so that when one goes off, they all go off.
  4. Smoke rises, so mount smoke alarms high on the wall or ceiling.
  5. Check the batteries once a month.  If you hear a chirping sound, the batteries are low and need replaced.
  6. Replace the batteries when daylight savings time starts and replace them once again when daylight savings time ends.
  7. Replace your smoke alarm at least once, every ten years.
  8. Never take a battery from a smoke alarm for some other purpose.
  9. Don’t decorate your smoke alarm.
  10. If everyone doesn’t know what a smoke alarm sounds like, be sure and activate it so all will know.
  11. Activate the smoke alarm while everyone is sleeping to make sure all wake up.  If not, make sure an escape plan includes this.
  12. When the alarm sounds, assume it means a real fire and evacuate your home immediately.

Plan an escape route

Have an escape route planned so that all can get out of the house.

  1. If you have a two-story house, you may want to invest in an escape ladder, such as a rope ladder or similar device.
    1. However, if you find yourself on the second floor with no safe egress, close your bedroom door and go to the window, open it, hang a blanket out the window and wait at the window for fire fighters to arrive.
  2. Discuss the escape plan with all members of your family, especially your children.  They need to know what to do.
    1. Remember to stay low, on your hands and knees, to avoid as much heat and smoke as possible.  Most people who die in residential fires, die of smoke inhalation.
  3. Identify a safe meeting place outside the house for the whole family to meet in the event you get separated from each other.  Make sure your children know where it is.
  4. Once your family has left the house safely, under no circumstances allow any one to reenter the house.
  5. Dial emergency help from a neighbor’s home or a cell phone, not your house!
  6. Keep your family safely away from the structure.

More Safety Tips!

  1. Don’t leave food cooking unattended on the stove.
  2. The cooking stove should always be clear of flammables.
  3. Never leave a portable space heater unattended.
  4. Keep portable heaters at least three feet from anything that is flammable.
  5. Use water to snuff any cigarettes before throwing them away.
  6. It’s a good idea for smokers to use large non – tip ashtrays
  7. Keep lighters of all kinds and matches out of the reach of children.
  8. Make sure that electrical cords are not frayed or cracked and are in excellent condition.
  9. Never store flammable fuel or liquid inside your home.  Store it outside in a garage or shed.
  • A candle is an open flame and can ignite combustible materials nearby.
    • Keep them away from items such as dollies, clothing, and curtains.
  • Make sure all candles are extinguished when no one is present in the room or when you go to sleep.
  • Make sure that candles are burnt in sturdy, non-flammable holders.
    • Use holders that are large enough to contain the dripping wax.
  • Keep candles away from flammable liquids.
  • Keep wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch.
  • Don’t carry a lit candle as a flashlight during a power outage.
  • An estimated 18,000 fires a year in homes is attributed to candles.
  • Repair or replace loose or frayed electrical device cords.
  • Don’t run extension cords under carpets.
  • Avoid running extension cords across doorways.
  • If small children are present, place plastic safety covers on electrical outlets.
  • Don’t overload outlets.
    • Plug only one high wattage appliance at a time in to a receptacle.
  • If an outlet or switch seems warm, have it checked immediately by an electrician.
  • Avoid using devices that allow the connection of several appliances in a single outlet.
  • Keep lamps away from flammable materials.
  • Never exceed the manufacturer’s maximum wattage when changing a bulb in a light fixture.
  • Never use a propane-fueled fryer indoors.
  • Always place the fryer on a stable, hard, level surface and away from combustible materials.
  • Make sure that the over-temperature safety is in proper working order.
    • The temperature of the cooking oil can reach its flash point and self ignite if not controlled.
  • If splashed or spilled, the hot oil will cause severe burns.
    • Be extremely careful when putting the turkey in and bringing the turkey out of the fryer
  • Never put a partially defrosted turkey in the fryer.
    • The moisture from the unthawed turkey can cause splattering of the hot oil and cause burns.
  • Never cook in the rain or snow due to the moisture causing splatter or even turning to steam.


  • CO poisoning is often called the silent killer.
  • CO is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas.
  • CO is created when fuels, such as gas, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, and oil, incompletely burn.
    • Heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO.
    • Vehicles and generators, if running in an attached garage without ventilation, are also sources
  • Install CO detectors in your home for early warning of accumulating CO.
    • Install CO detector in a central location outside of each sleeping area.  If more than one sleeping area, more than one detector should be installed.
  • Test your CO detector once a month and replace according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep in mind that CO detectors are not a substitute for smoke alarms.
    • Know the difference between the sound of your smoke alarm and your CO detector.
  • If you use a kerosene or gas heater, slightly open a window.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • In cold weather, never warm your vehicle in a closed garage.
    • Always use good ventilation when running an internal combustion engine indoors.
  • Barbecue grills can produce CO.  Never use it inside.
  • If your CO detector does go off:
    • If battery powered and the detector is giving an intermittent alarm, check/replace the battery.
    • If a steady alarm and you are unable to determine the source, evacuate the premises.
    • Report the alarm to 911.
    • Do not re-enter the premises until the responding authorities have given the okay.
    • Have a qualified technician inspect for proper functioning of your heating equipment.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protective lenses to shield your eyes.
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat.
  • Wear tightly woven clothing.
  • Use sunscreen of at least a SPF of 15 or greater and protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours when sweating or swimming.
  • Be especially vigilant around reflective surfaces, such as water and sand due to the reflection of the sun’s rays from these surfaces.
  • Always use good sense when out in the sun.
  • Check hoses for brittleness, leaks and cracking.
  • Eliminate any sharp bends in the hose.
  • Keep the propane tank upright.
  • Keep flammable liquids away from grill.
  • If your grill has a spark igniter, make sure is in proper working order.
  • Keep children away from the grill.
  • Keep sufficient space around the grill.
  • Charcoal Grill Safety:
  • Never use indoors as burning charcoal gives off carbon monoxide.
  • Wear glasses, goggles, or a face shield for eye protection when operating lawn and garden equipment.
  • Wear earplugs for hearing protection when operating lawn and garden equipment.
  • Long pants and long sleeved shirts should be worn when operating lawn and garden equipment.
    • Gloves and slip resistant shoes should also be worn.
  • Use sunscreen to avoid severe sunburn.
  • Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Don’t overload
    • Don’t overload bags if they will become too heavy to carry.
    • Use a wheelbarrow to move heavy loads.
  • If chemicals are used on the lawn, keep children away
  • Keep chemicals locked up and out of children’s reach.
  • Store hoses properly to avoid tripping.
  • Tines down when laying down a rake.
  • Lay ladders on their sides.
  • Always remove rocks, metal, glass, sticks or any objects that can become a projectile before mowing.
  • Always wear your seat belt
    • They can save your life.
    • They can also reduce the risk of serious injury.
    • Too many people die every year because they didn’t fasten their seat belt.
    • It only takes about three seconds to fasten your seat belt.
    • Make sure that the shoulder belt is across your shoulder and chest, not behind you.
    • Seat belts will keep an adult a safe distance from an inflating airbag.
    • Children should be properly seat belted in the back seat, away from airbags
    • Babies should seat belted be in an approved safety seat, facing to the back.
  • Never, ever put small children or infants in seats with an airbag.
  • Never, ever tuck the shoulder strap behind you.
  • Never, ever strap two children in one seat belt.
  • Never, ever hold your child on your lap.
  • Never, ever let the vehicle move before the driver and all passengers are buckled up.
  • Never, ever drink and drive
  • Never ever let your friends drive drunk.
  • Never ever drive when you are sleepy
  • Never ever ride in the cargo area of a vehicle.

Always keep first aid kits and emergency phone numbers in an easily accessible place.


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