Cambridge offers tip on fire safety, backyard safety

The city of Cambridge is taking part in May as Building Safety Awareness Month. This week’s news release focuses on fire safety and backyard safety.

Each year, fires take lives and burn numerous structures resulting in mounting costs that have enormous impact on families, communities and businesses. Fires also have devastating impacts on the environment and wildlife. Below is a list of zero and low cost safety precaution measures you can take to protect your home and workplace:

Candles – Ensure candles are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down. Most importantly, keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. (Source: USFA)

• Never leave the house with candles burning and never leave burning candles unattended. (Source: USFA)

Electrical – Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring. (Source: USFA)

If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord. (Source: USFA)

When buying electrical appliances look for products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). (Source: USFA)

Gas – When lighting a gas fireplace or gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the gas. (Source: NFPA). Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater. (Source: NFPA)

Install – Purchase an ABC type extinguisher for extinguishing all types of fires. Fire extinguishers should be mounted in the kitchen, garage, and workshop and should only be used on small fires. If there is a large fire, get out immediately and call 911. (Source: NFPA)

Smoke alarms should be installed in each sleeping room/bedroom, outside of sleeping rooms/bedrooms and on each level of your house. Make sure to test your smoke alarms each month and change the batteries at least once a year.


Backyard Safety

As summer approaches, homeowners need to take the time to check their outdoor areas for potential safety hazards. While most people know that pools are a safety hazard for kids, there are lot more things to watch out for in your back yard, like barbecues and grills, lawn equipment and toys.

Here are some zero to low cost simple steps can help to keep your family and friends safe in the future.

• Practice constant, adult supervision around any body of water, including pools and spas.

• If you’re considering a swimming pool purchase, contact your local Building Department first to determine exactly what permits are needed and what requirements you must follow. In-ground and above-ground pools, including inflatable pools holding more than 24 inches of water, must be surrounded by a fence or other barrier at least four feet high. Any gates in the fence must be self-closing and self-latching.

• Designate the grilling area a “No Play Zone” and keep kids and pets well away until grill equipment is completely cool.

• Check propane cylinder hoses for leaks before use. (Source: USFA)

• Do not move hot grills. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going. (Source: USFA)

• Don’t leave toys, tools and equipment in the yard.

• Reserve a spot on a wall or fence near the pool for lifesaving devices.

• Keep steps, sidewalks and patios in good repair.

• A common safety hazard occurs when porches are nailed to buildings rather than being attached with the proper anchors or bolts. Nails are a poor method for attaching porches to buildings because they work their way loose over time.

• Check all swings, slides, playhouses and other structures for sharp objects, rusty metal pieces, breaks or weakened support pieces.

• Learn CPR.

The city of Cambridge thanks all that have contributed to our Building Safety Month of May. For additional information, handouts and brochures, visit