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Fire Hazards Around the Home

You feel safe in the familiar, comfortable place you call home, but the potential for fire is nevertheless present. Your safety will be immeasurably improved if you will give some attention to the hazards described below:

Wiring: If you find you don’t have enough electrical outlets, that’s a clue that your wiring system may have been installed before your locality adopted its building code, and my be obsolete. (In most places code requires an outlet every 8 feet of wall length.) Using extension cords and “cheaters” to power electrical appliances in your home may overload a circuit and start a fire. Inspect the power cords of appliances to make sure the insulation is intact.

Space Heaters: Don’t use non-vented heaters like kerosene space heaters unless you absolutely have to. Heaters of this type generate carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can kill if enough is inhaled. To offset this risk, manufacturers recommend opening a window about an inch, limiting usage to 4 hours or less, and turning off the heater before going to sleep. Choose and electrical space heater that is approved by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and you will be much safer.

Chimney Fires: When wood burns, the smoke deposits creosote, a highly flammable resin, In the flue. Dry, well-seasoned wood produces less creosote than un-seasoned, or green wood because it burns hotter. If the creosote in the flue catches fire, the fire will make a loud roaring sound because it is burning so vigorously. A chimney fire can damage the mortar joints that connect the sections of flue tile, allowing heat to escape the flue and ignite nearby wooden structures. This kind of fire may smolder for days before bursting into flames. However, clean flues don’t catch fire, so have your chimney cleaned once a year by a licensed chimney sweep.

Clothes Dryers: If your dryer overheats, it can start a fire. Dryers overheat because the flow of air leaving the dryer is restricted by lint located in the lint trap OR at the screen at the outdoor end of the vent. Clear lint away from the lint trap before every load, clean the vent screen once a month, and a dryer fire will become very unlikely.

Playing with Fire: Not all children play with matches or lighters, but many of them do. Typically, they hide in closets or under beds when experimenting with fire. Inspect hiding places like these, looking for ashes, burnt matches, or other burnt materials. Get children involved in fire safety so they understand the stakes.

Smoking: Every year, people die because they fell asleep on a couch, or in their beds, while smoking. ‘Nuff said?

Furnaces: Gas or oil burners that are not adjusted correctly or dirty can produce carbon monoxide. If the vent pipe, or flue, for your furnace leaks, this deadly gas can escape into your home. Have a qualified person clean and inspect your furnace every year.

Kitchens: When pots or pans overheat, their contents can catch fire, so never leave your stove unattended. Many kitchen fires start when cooking oil catches fire. Smother an oil fire by clapping a lid on the pan. Never try to put out an oil fire with water because you may spread the fire out.

Fireplaces: Firewood ‘pops’ because it is storing moisture that expands when heated. ‘Pops’ can propel burning coals out of the fireplace onto the carpet. You can minimize popping by using only well-dried firewood. Even with well-seasoned wood, put a fireplace screen in front of the fireplace if you leave the room.

Reference: Technical staff at

Our Address:
1923 Slocum Road
Wapwallopen, PA 18660
Contact Us:
Emergency: Call 911
Non-Emergency: (570) 868-6255

Call Volume

Fire Calls:
2016: 283
2015: 277
2014: 271
EMS Calls:
2016: 289
2015: 257
2014: 227

Website Information

Slocum Township Volunteer Fire Company's website was created by Uncrowned Empire and is maintained by their staff in coordination with our members.  All website based support should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.