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Archived News Release from 2003

For Immediate Release

Recent East Coast Fires Highlight Redwood City's Fire Safety Inspections & Tips

Redwood City, CA - March 3, 2003 - The tragic fires that have recently occurred on the east coast have brought fire safety to the forefront of the public's attention. As part of its regular schedule, starting this month Redwood City Fire Department will be inspecting multi-residential occupancies in Redwood City. The inspections will be conducted in hotels/motels, apartment complexes, and buildings used for living facilities, such as nursing homes or rehabilitation houses.

Fire Department personnel will be looking for occupant load signs, exit signs, and clear pathways to exits, fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and general fire-safe housekeeping. As is the case with accidents, a small amount of prevention can help reduce potentially devastating damages to property, and worse, the loss of life. The Redwood City Fire Department offers the following checklist to help members of the public to improve fire safety in the home:

  • Never leave candles burning unattended;
  • Keep your kitchen and appliances clean and free from grease;
  • Unplug appliances when not in use;
  • Store potholders and towels away from combustible areas;
  • If you experience a grease fire, do NOT use an extinguisher - cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner;
  • If a fire starts in your microwave, keep the door closed and unplug it;
  • Have your fireplace inspected annually and when advised, have it cleaned – and never burn rubbish in your fireplace;
  • Give plenty of room to your space heaters and run them only when you are in the room;
  • Have your fire extinguisher serviced by a professional - check the yellow pages under "Fire" for reference;
  • Clean the lint screen on your dryer after every use - never operate the dryer without the lint screen;
  • Make sure the dryer's air exhaust vent pipe is not blocked;
  • If you have a gas dryer, have a professional inspect it occasionally to ensure that the gas line and connection are intact and leak-free;
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your house;
  • Check the batteries on the first of the month, EVERY month;
  • Plan two escape routes from every room in your house and have a meeting point in a central place outside your house;
  • Keep self-closing fire doors unobstructed and clear at all times;
  • Practice fire drills, in your home, at least twice a year;
  • Never re-enter a burning building.

For more tips on fire safety in the home, check out the National Fire Professional Association's web-site at

Visit Redwood City's website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Redwood City news releases are also available online, at

Contact: Louis Vella
Admin. Chief/Fire Marshal

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