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Avoid danger of hazardous materials in homes, garages

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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Many people use chemicals in their homes safely every day, but as the number of chemical products increases, the risk for improper use and injury also increases.

The Verde Valley Fire District encourages residents to practice home hazardous materials safety to prevent home fires and injuries.

Household hazardous materials are products we use daily and take for granted as being safe. The fact of the matter is our homes and garages can be a warehouse of hazardous materials such as automotive fluids, barbecue products, batteries, health and beauty products, home maintenance products, household cleaner, laundry products, medicines and medical supplies, paints and thinners, etc.

Even though many of these products may be somewhat stable individually, the property composition can change from acci-dently mixing with other products, exposure to heat, etc.

Medical oxygen is also a home product of concern. The importance of oxygen dependency is critical for many residents' health. Unfortunately, the use of medical oxygen and the amount in the air, furniture, clothing, hair and bedding can increase. This relates to a higher risk of both fires and burns because it is easier for a fire to start and spread. Here are some safety tips:

Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is used.

Post "No Smoking" signs inside and outside your home to remind residents and guests not to smoke.

Never use a candle, match, lighter or other open flame.

Never use a fireplace, stove or other equipment fueled by gas, kerosene, wood or coal.

Do not allow children to use toys that spark.

Keep oil, grease and similar petroleum-based products away from oxygen valves. They can cause a spontaneous explosion.

You can make your home safer by preventing serious fire, health or environmental hazards involving home hazardous materials. This is accomplished by proper use, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials.

Here are tips related to use and storage:

Buy only the amount of product you need to reduce the quantity of hazardous materials in storage.

Familiarize yourself with each product, its location and purpose.

Follow use and storage instructions on the product's label. Mixing some products can create deadly poisonous fumes or cause fires.Store hazardous materials in their original containers. Changing containers is not only dangerous, it is illegal.

Flammable and combustible materials like gasoline, kerosene, propane gas, paint thinners, etc., must be stored away from the home and in appropriate containers.Store hazardous materials out of the reach of children and pets.Secure storage units from falling over.

Always follow the disposal instructions on the product's label.

The Verde Valley Fire District continuously seeks ways to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. Home hazardous materials serve a purpose in our everyday lives. We just need to be conscious of their purpose and their potential for causing problems.

For further information on home safety please contact your Verde Valley Fire District, stop by one of our fire stations or contact me directly.

Facts from the Chief written by Verde Valley Fire District Fire Chief Nazih Hazime, appears on the first Wednesday of each month.

Copyright 2014 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: May 7, 2014

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