Spring Clean Up

With spring comes the need to clean up after the winter weather and prepare for summer. The Matteson Fire Department would like to offer the following suggestions:

  • Clean your garage of stored newspapers or other rubbish that can fuel a fire. A newspaper stored in a damp, warm place may ignite spontaneously;
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly;
  • To help prevent nuisance alarms, gently vacuum your smoke alarm every six months or as needed;
  • Change batteries in smoke alarms, flashlights, and carbon monoxide detectors;
  • Never borrow smoke alarm batteries to use for toys or other equipment;
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years or as recommended by the manufacturer;
  • Check your fuse box; make sure that you have the proper fuses;
  • Keep outdoor debris or dead vegetation away from the house;
  • Properly dispose of oily or greasy rags. If these items must be stored, they should be kept in labeled sealed, metal containers;
  • If you store gasoline, keep it outside your home in a shed or detached garage. Keep only small quantities in tightly sealed containers. Use gasoline only as a motor fuel - never as a cleaning agent;
  • Always store paint and other flammable liquids in their original, labeled containers with tight-fitting lids. Always store them at least 18 inches from appliances, heaters, pilot lights, and other sources of heat or flame;
  • Use outdoor barbecue grills with caution. Place in a safe area away from the building, windows, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units, or places with high/dead vegetation;
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire. Don't add charcoal lighter fluid once the fire is started;
  • Use barbecue grills outside only, not under overhand or balconies, and away from combustibles;
  • Check your propane barbecue grill hose for leaks and cracks; never store propane indoors.

With these simple suggestions, we can all enjoy a fire-free Spring.