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Town Talk: Fire Prevention Week and product safety recalls

Many of us have purchased something that has had a recall, whether it be a product, food item or a vehicle. Recalls are issued after a safety concern or a product defect is discovered. Are you aware there are many more recalls than what you may hear about and some of those recalls are due to fire hazards? I’d like to take this opportunity to share some information on how to look up products in your home to make sure they are not endangering your family.

I recommend using the Minnesota State Fire Marshal website at: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/sfm/Pages/default.aspx

Click on Fire Safety, Resource Links, and under Recalls click Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here you can search products to check for fire related recalls, as well as other recall information.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is an “independent federal regulatory agency with a public health and safety mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death from consumer products” (CPSC website). It’s well worth the time to research some of the products in your home to ensure your family’s safety.

Even though you practice fire safety and prevention, the unfortunate event of a fire may still happen in your home. In a typical home fire, you may only have one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice will help you make the most of those minutes. Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12 and the theme is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” We encourage everyone to make a home escape plan and to practice that plan regularly. Be the hero in your home and make an escape plan. Here’s a few quick tips for your plan:

• Have 2 exits from each room.

• Make sure all doors and windows open easily.

• Make sure your home has working smoke alarms & test them regularly.

• Pick a meeting place outside.

• Make sure your house/building number can be seen from the street.

• Talk about the plan and practice it.

Here at the New Ulm Fire Department, our Fire Prevention Week activities include Safe Escape House presentations for 4th grade students on Oct. 3, school visits and alarm drills on Oct. 8 and 9, Pizza Night with Pizza Ranch on Oct. 8 and an Open House at the Fire Station on Wednesday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m. We invite everyone to attend the Open House to tour the station, see the firetrucks and meet the firefighters. Home Fire Escape Plan information will be available at the Open House!

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Editor’s Note: The City of New Ulm presents a weekly column highlighting activities in different departments in the city government. Once a month the city will answer questions from readers. Questions on New Ulm city issues can be sent to comments@ci.new-ulm.mn.us.

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