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Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD)

Spring cleaning with safety in mind

Spring cleaning is a great time to improve household safety. The Falcon Fire Protection District offers the following suggestions.Clean out clothes dryer ventsThe U.S. Fire Administration estimates 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments every year. These fires result in property damage and loss totaling $35 million annually and cause injuries and even deaths. The leading cause of clothes dryer fires is a failure to clean them.Lint is a highly combustible material that can accumulate both in the dryer and its vent. Accumulated lint leads to reduced airflow, meaning the vent will not properly exhaust to the outside. Bird or small animal nests can also block vents. Compromised vents can create overheating and ignition of lint.Avoiding fires

  • Clean the lint filter before and after each cycle. Also clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months, or more frequently if it becomes clogged.
  • Regularly clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up.
  • Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged, crushed or restricted.
  • Dryer vents should exhaust directly to the outside, not into attics or other areas of the building.
  • Ensure the outdoor vent covering opens properly when the dryer is operating.
  • Have qualified service personnel periodically clean and service the dryerís interior and venting system, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.
  • Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
  • Check periodically to make sure nests of small animals or birds are not blocking the outside vent.
  • Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
  • Follow manufacturerís instructions for use and donít overload the dryer.
(Source: U.S. Fire Administration)9-volt battery safetyThe National Fire Protection Association advises that 9-volt batteries, which are commonly used to power smoke alarms, toys and other household items, can be a fire hazard if they are not stored or disposed of properly. Because the positive and negative posts are close together, a short circuit can occur if they contact a metal object. Even weak batteries could have a sufficient charge to start a fire.NFPA offers these safety tips:
  • Keep 9-volt batteries in the original packaging until they are used.
  • Do not store 9-volt batteries loose with other batteries, paper clips, coins or other metal objects.
  • Store batteries standing up.
  • Do not dispose of 9-volt batteries in the trash. Cover exposed terminals with duct, masking, or electrical tape and take batteries to a household hazardous waste facility.
Recycle and dispose of hazardous wasteSpeaking of household hazardous waste facilities, spring cleaning means getting rid of stuff, but what can be done with old batteries, paints, garden and automotive products and electronics that shouldnít go in the trash? The El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste Facility accepts these items, recyclables and more. Located at 3255 Akers Drive (between Constitution Avenue and North Carefree Circle, just west of Marksheffel Road), the HHWF is open to residents of El Paso and Teller counties Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on the second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.†HHWF services are free, but a donation of non-perishable food items for the Care and Share food bank is encouraged.To see a complete list of what the HHWF accepts for recycling or disposal, go to and enter ìhazardous waste disposalî in the search box, or call 719-520-7871 for more information.Repurpose items for emergency preparednessBeing prepared for disasters and emergencies has been a hot topic the past few years. Instead of donating or throwing away unwanted clothing and household items, why not use them to start building an emergency kit? For example:
  • Use an old duffle bag, backpack or rolling suitcase for an evacuation kit or a car emergency kit. Pack evacuation kits with serviceable clothing and shoes that were going to be donated anyway.
  • Include a towel and a small, lightweight blanket or sleeping bag.
Donít forget pets and livestock! Many animal owners accumulate extra supplies that can be used to stock evacuation kits. Leashes and collars, halters and lead ropes, food and water dishes, pet beds and toys; and anything else the animal may need while away from home can be packed ahead of time.Full lists of recommended emergency supplies for humans and animals are available online at and

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