Hoosiers Encouraged to Focus on Building Safety
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Hoosiers Encouraged to Focus on Building Safety

IDHS Promotes Ways to Protect Home and Loved Ones

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – May 13, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Building Safety Month in May is a nationally recognized, annual occurrence intended to raise public awareness of building safety, and promote the use, enforcement and importance of building safety and fire prevention codes. In support of these efforts, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels proclaimed May 2010 Building Safety Preparedness Month in Indiana. The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), reminds homeowners of building safety and energy conservation tips.

“The important inspection work we do is often overlooked until a tragedy occurs,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal James Greeson. “When building safety and fire prevention experts inspect buildings during and after construction, they help ensure the safety of the places where you live, learn, work, worship and play.”

“Public safety is our number one concern,” said Greeson. “During Building Safety Month and all year long, building safety and fire prevention officials are here to help protect you and your community.”

Home safety and fire prevention codes address all aspects of construction including structural soundness, reliability of fire prevention and suppression systems, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency and sustainability. Ensuring home safety requires the active participation of building safety and fire prevention officials, architects, builders, engineers, and others in the construction industry, as well as property owners.

Follow these safety tips to help keep your home or other facility safe and energy efficient.

Fire Safety and Awareness
. Install smoke alarms outside sleeping areas and on each level of your home.
. Test your smoke alarm each month and change the batteries at least once a year.
. When home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased.
. Practice an escape plan from every room in the house.
. Plant fire prone trees and shrubs away from your home and far enough apart so they won’t ignite one another.
. Have a garden hose long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.
. Never leave a room with candles burning.
. Routinely check the condition of electrical appliances and wiring for damage.

Disaster Safety and Preparation
. Develop a family action plan and share it with everyone in your family.
. Use surge protective devices to protect electronic appliances.
. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to use the fire extinguisher and age appropriate family members know how to turn off utilities.
. To avoid damage and injuries during an earthquake, hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, or anywhere people sit, and store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china, in low, closed cabinets with latches.

Backyard Safety
. Ensure your steps, sidewalks and patios are in good repair to avoid falls.
. Keep the barbeque grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves.
. When grilling, have a fire extinguisher or water source close by in case of a fire.
. Never leave fires unattended.
. Keep children away from fire pits and grills.
. Make sure all gates around your pool are self-closing and self-latching.
. Parents should explain the dangers of neighborhood retention ponds, swimming pools and creeks in addition to preventing children from being unsupervised around these potential hazards.

Energy Tips
. Close curtains and shades at night to keep warmth in, and keep them open during the day.
. Install a programmable thermostat to keep your home comfortably warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips, and turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. When electronic equipment is allowed to enter standby mode, they continue to consume several watts of power.
. Regularly change the HV/AC filters in the heating and cooling system to save money.

For additional fire and home safety tips, visit www.in.gov/dhs/getprepared.

Contact:
John Erickson or Emily Norcross
Phone: (317) 234-6713
Email: pio (at) dhs.in (dot) gov

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