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The snow has melted, the rain and wind are beginning to subside, and plants are budding. Spring is arriving and your thoughts may be turning to that dreaded ritual of spring cleaning.  With it comes a timely reminder to keep your home safe from the threat of fire. In an effort to make this “Spring Cleanup” a fire safe one, the Evanston Fire Department provides the following safety tips:

  • Clean the garage of stored newspapers or other rubbish that can fuel a fire.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly.
  • To help prevent nuisance alarms, gently vacuum your smoke alarms 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.
  • 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.
  • Keep stored gasoline outside the 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.
  • Use outdoor barbecue grills with caution. Place them 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 the fire, and do not add charcoal lighter fluid once the fire has started.
  • Use barbecue grills outside only – not under overhangs or balconies, and away from combustibles.
  • Check propane barbecue grill hose for leaks and cracks; never store propane indoors.  Any questions or clarifications on any fire safety tips, please contact the Evanston Fire Department (847) 448-8192 or at Fireservices@cityofevanston.org