With South Carolina in the anticipated path of Hurricane Irma, State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones is urging citizens to be fire safe.

“It is important for you to check and make sure you have a hurricane disaster plan and a basic disaster supply kit,” Jones said. “This includes first aid supplies, a battery-operated portable radio, flashlight and extra batteries. During a hurricane, power outages are anticipated. As such, I want to encourage the use of battery-operated flashlights and lanterns instead of candles. Remember, using candles and portable generators can pose additional hazards.”

If candles and portable generators are used, South Carolinians can reduce their risks of becoming a fire casualty by identifying potential hazards and following these safety tips:

Candle safety

• Use a sturdy candle-holder and place on an uncluttered surface.

• Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.

• Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.

• Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.

• Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish it upon leaving the room.

Generator safety

• Operate a generator in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from doors, windows and vent openings.

• Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.

• Place generators so exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors, or other openings.

• Never refuel a generator while it is running. Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling.

• Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.

• Store generator fuel in a properly labeled container. Store the container outside of living areas.

Chief Jones also offers these cooking related fire safety tips:

• Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home or garage, unless specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in an enclosed area.

• Never burn charcoal inside a home or garage.

Lastly, if there is a fire emergency, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible and remain outdoors. Never return inside a burning building.

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