Middletown's Fire Prevention Officer Lt. Rob McCall says that the most effective means of fighting a fire is prevention.
“We would much rather come to your house to prevent a fire than to put one out,” he said.
McCall said the most common causes of fires they see in Middletown are related to cooking and smoking; most are preventable.
The suggests incorporating the following practices into everyday activities in order to reduce the risk of a fire:
- Check the stove before you leave the kitchen. Lt. McCall said that fires have been started when the stove was accidentally turned on.
- Always keep a one-foot radius clear around the stove.
- Do not fall asleep when food is cooking on the stove.
- Do not smoke in the house.
- Properly dispose of cigarettes. Lt. McCall said a recent fire was started by a cigarette that was thrown into a plastic bucket.
- Never leave candles unattended.
- Be careful of open windows. A breeze can throw a flame, which can quickly start a fire.
- Ensure the candle is on a solid base.
- Do not let the candle burn all the way down.
- Smoke detectors should be tested monthly.
- In order to ensure the batteries are fresh, they should be replaced twice a year. Lt. McCall suggests to replace the batteries when you set the clocks back for daylight savings time.
- Smoke detectors need to be replaced every 10 years.
- The Middletown Fire Department provides smoke detectors for low income and elderly residents. If needed, the department will install the device.
Middletown residents who would like a fire prevention walk-through at their residence may schedule one by calling the non-emergency number 401.846.1031.