Fire Department - Fire Prevention
The Public Education Division of the Skokie Fire Prevention Bureau is at work teaching fire and life safety in many innovative, interesting, and informative ways. You can schedule an event for your school, community group, corporate setting or staff training, by calling us at 847/982-5340 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
|Home Fire Inspections||In an effort to educate the public on fire and life safety issues, the Skokie Fire Department offers home safety inspections by request. The Fire Prevention Bureau will visit your home and check for any fire or life safety hazards.|
|Smoke Alarms||The Skokie Fire Department reminds you to change your batteries in your smoke alarm(s) as you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Change your clocks, change your batteries! A working smoke alarm increases your chance of surviving a house fire by more than 50%.More than 3,000 deaths occur in house fires each year. Most people die from smoke and toxic gases and not the fire itself.
Protect yourself and your family by:
What kind should I buy and how much should I spend?
Where should I install them?
|Carbon Monoxide Detectors||
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless deadly gas. It is virtually unrecognizable; it can do its damage before you realize it’s there.
Carbon Monoxide can be present whenever fuel is burned. Common household appliances, such as gas or oil furnaces, clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, water heaters, uneven space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal grills, and wood burning stoves can produce it. Even fumes from automobiles contain Carbon Monoxide. They can enter the home through walls or doorways if a car is left running in an attached garage.
Furnace heat exchangers can crack; vents and chimneys can become blocked, disconnected or corroded; inadequate air supply for combustion appliances can cause build ups of Carbon Monoxide in the home.
If a home is well ventilated and no air pressure fluctuations or venting or chimney blockages exist, carbon monoxide usually seeps safely outside.
Protection from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - It's the Law
The Carbon Monoxide alarm may be combined with smoke detecting devices provided that the combined unit complies with the respective provisions of the Village Code, is listed for such use, and emits an alarm in a manner that clearly differentiates the hazard.
For further information on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, please click here.
|Proper Disposal of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors||
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors may be disposed of with regular garbage. Do not take the detector apart, but do remove batteries and dispose of them properly. Alkaline batteries may be deposited in the trash. Lithium batteries must be saved for a hazardous waste collection or can be brought to the Skokie Health Department for Household Battery Recycling.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are not accepted at electronics recycling events.
Some alarm manufacturers will take their own products back for recycling. Contact the manufacturer before mailing back an alarm/detector; some manufacturers charge a fee or have special requirements, if the device is no longer under warranty.
|Household Fire Extinguishers||
A fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver. Placed near an exit, in an easy-to-grab spot, it can put out a small fire before the firefighters arrive, or at least suppress the flames while you escape.
The National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org) recommends an extinguisher for each floor. But no matter how many you have, nothing can substitute for the most important safety tool: a fire plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out in a hurry, where to meet outside, and how to call 911. Even if you think you've put out the fire on your own, don't cancel that emergency call. Leave it to the professionals to decide if the fire is really out.
It is important to know how to operate a fire extinguisher. You must remember the following:
In case of a fire, remember P.A.S.S. – Pull – Aim – Squeeze – Sweep
PULL – pull the pin
If you have any doubts on when you should use the extinguisher, don't. Leave the house and dial 9-1-1 from a neighbor's house.
Disposal of Expired or Discharged Household Fire Extinguishers
The Skokie Fire Department does not service, refill or dispose of fire extinguishers.
Contact the product manufacturer to see if there is a recycling program in effect. Fire extinguishers are under pressure, and have the potential to explode in combination with some materials. They cannot be discarded curb side and are not accepted at Household Chemical Waste collections.
The following are recycling options for fire extinguishers:
U.S. Fire & Safety Equipment Company
|Pharmaceutical and Sharps Disposal||Recent research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey revealed that there are a substantial amount of antibiotics and steroidal hormones in rivers, lakes and wells caused by people flushing their medications down the toilet or putting them down the sink. Additionally, sharps can cause needle-sticks and health issues if thrown away in the garbage or put in the water system.
For a list of Pharmaceutical and Sharps Disposal sites, please click here.
|Fire & Life Safety Tips||
|Fire Hydrant Obstruction Code||The Skokie Village Code indicates that it is unlawful for any person in any manner to obstruct the use of any fire hydrant or place any material or a vehicle in from of a hydrant within 15 feet. Click here for more information.|
|Older Adults and Fall Safety||
|How to Prevent Falls for Older Adults||
Statistics show that falls are the leading cause of death from unintentional injury in the home. The Skokie Fire Department urges older adults to follow these simple fall prevention tips to keep you on your feet:
|What You Should Know About Juvenile Firesetting||Many young children are fascinated by matches and lighters but do not know about fire's destructive consequences. Children may set fires because of curiosity or accidentally because of poor judgment. Children need parental supervision and education about fire safety.
If you discover burnt matches or other fire-starting materials, or have any reason to suspect that your child has set a fire, you should take immediate action. Help is available through the Skokie Fire Department. A Certified Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist is available to talk to you and your child. For confidential assistance, call the Skokie Fire Department 847-982-5340.
Help is also available at http://www.ifsa.org or the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance at 847/390-0911
|Fire Safety for Kids||Set a good example for your child by following basic fire and life safety guidelines:
|Questions & Answers About Emergency Vehicles For Safer Driving||
Ten important questions and answers every motorist should know about emergency vehicles to become a more knowledgeable driver.
Q. What steps should drivers take to ensure they can hear the approach of an emergency vehicle?
Q. Should motorists stop when they see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching with emergency lights and siren operating?
Yes. Upon the approach of any emergency vehicle giving audible signal by siren, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way by pulling to the right-hand side of the roadway until the emergency vehicle has passed.
Q. What should drivers do on a multi-lane road when they are in the middle lane and the emergency vehicle is in the right lane?
Pull over to the left side of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed. Always use common sense when driving on a multi-lane road.
Q. When drivers approach an emergency vehicle scene, what precautions should they take?
Do not make the emergency scene worse. Drivers should maintain a safe driving speed, keep their eyes on the road and follow directions from authorized personnel. Be aware that other emergency vehicles may be approaching the scene.
Q. At a fire scene, can motorists drive over a fire hose stretched across the street?
No, unless a fire department official gives them permission.
Q. What should drivers be aware of when approaching a fire station?
Upon approaching a fire station, motorists should be aware that fire department vehicles may be entering the street responding to a call for help. If this happens to you -- STOP - and allow the emergency vehicle or vehicles to proceed.
Q. Is it illegal to follow an emergency vehicle too closely when the warning lights and siren are operating?
YES. A driver should not follow an authorized emergency vehicle responding to a call or alarm closer than 500 feet. A driver should not park his or her vehicle within 300 feet of fire department vehicles that have stopped at an emergency scene. Also, do not attempt to follow an ambulance that is transporting a patient to the hospital.
Q. Do pedestrians have the right-of-way over an emergency vehicle responding with lights and siren operating?
NO. Pedestrians should remain on the sidewalk and wait until the emergency vehicle has passed. Pedestrians should always exercise caution and be aware of their safety.
Q. While responding to a call for help, what can emergency vehicles do that motorists cannot?
An operator of an emergency vehicle must have warning lights and siren operating to do the following: Exceed the speed limit, proceed through stop signs and stop lights, travel in opposing traffic lanes, and drive the wrong way on a one-way street. While emergency vehicles can disregard traffic laws, operators must drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using roadways.
Q. When an emergency vehicle is approaching me on a divided highway, do drivers have to pull to the right and stop?
NO, because the road is separated by a barrier or median. Occasionally an emergency vehicle may travel in the wrong direction on a divided highway. If this occurs, reduce your speed, yield the right of way and proceed cautiously.
|For the Business Owner – Ten Common Code Violations and 10 Easy Solutions||
Inspection/Test Fees (Sec. 46-130)
Fire Prevention Bureau Information Fees (Sec. 46-31)
Alarm Systems and Users (Sec.46-74)
Fees for false alarms:
(Code 1979, 37.20)
|Do I Need a "Knox Box"?||If you own a business or large residential building you are required to obtain a Knox Box. A Knox Box is for fire/law enforcement to gain rapid entry into a building. In an emergency, lack of immediate access can endanger lives and cause property damage from fire, smoke, water, and forcible entry.
This box usually contains all necessary keys, pass cards, and other relevant items to ensure after-hour entry should emergencies occur. The "Knox Box" system is a secure and established system that is used throughout the country.
For information or to get a Knox Box application, contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 847/982-5340.
|Do I Need a Residential Fire Sprinkler System?||
In January 2005, in accordance with NFPA 13-D, the Village of Skokie adopted a Residential Fire Sprinkler Ordinance. This requires all new one and two family dwellings to install and maintain a fire sprinkler system. All work must be done by an Illinois State Fire Marshal Licensed Sprinkler Contractor.
What You Should Know About Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems
Many people resist the idea of home sprinkler systems due to some common misconceptions, but the truth is:
|What You Should Know About High-rise Safety||
Skokie has added some new heights to the horizon. High-rise buildings are popping up all over. The Skokie Fire Department wants you to know that high-rise buildings are among the safest places to live these days. High-rise fires start from the same causes as fires in other kind of homes; among the most common causes are heating equipment, smoking, electrical systems, cooking, carelessness, and arson. To save lives and minimize property damage, the fire safety features of your building must be respected and maintained.
Alarms, Emergency Lighting and Sprinkler Systems
Keep Exits Clear
If There is a Fire
If you have to leave the Building
Never Use the Elevator
If you are Unable to Escape
Practice and prevention are your best defense against emergency situations!
|Spring and Summer
Spring cleaning? The days are getting warmer and longer so now is a good time to get rid of all that extra trash, boxes, piles of clothing and other combustibles that can start a fire. The Skokie Fire Department suggests you clean out storage areas on a regular basis. Don't give fire a place to start. A clean house is a safe house. Make sure that you store gasoline and other flammables outside your home. Store oily, greasy rags in labeled, sealed metal containers. Never use flammable liquids near sparks, heat, or open flames such as a pilot light or while smoking. Note: Flammable liquids include linseed oil, gasoline, paints, paint thinner, strippers, acetone and adhesives. Never use an open flame after spilling flammable liquid on your hands or clothing.
Store unused charcoal in a cool, dry place as damp coal can ignite itself. Be careful when barbecuing. Use caution with hot coals and lighter fluid, and dispose of properly.
Tornado - Watch or Warning?
A WATCH is whenever there is a potential for severe storms or tornadoes in your immediate area.
A WARNING indicates the presence of a tornado or a severe storm. Once a warning is issued, immediately seek shelter. A warning is usually indicated to the local community by the constant sounding of the warning sirens. These sirens are tested on the first Tuesday morning of every month at 10:00 a.m.. Become familiar with the sounds.
Tornado - MYTHS and FACTS
MYTH: Open the windows before seeking shelter.
FACT: While once thought to be correct, opening the windows has no benefit because it is sheer wind power which destroys buildings.
MYTH: High-rise buildings disrupt tornadoes.
MYTH: The southwest corner of the basement is the safest place to be.
MYTH: Radar can pinpoint the exact location of a tornado.
MYTH: A car can outrun a tornado and is a safe place to be.
The following safety suggestions will help you and your family have a worry free winter.
|National Fire Prevention Week||
Fire Prevention Week marks the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of October 8-9, 1871. This historic blaze raged for several days and killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings.
Each October, the National Fire Protection Association sponsors a Fire Prevention Campaign. For more information on this year's Fire Prevention Week please click here.