If you or someone close to you has a disability or requires special assistance, please call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 303-271-0211. In an emergency, always dial 911.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Safety Precautions for Re-entry and Clean-up after Fire

•Use caution when bringing children and pregnant women into an area with ash and damaged structures until cleanup is completed. Do not leave children unattended at burned properties.

• Watch for repeated coughing, nausea, unusual fatigue or dizziness, particularly if there is a medical history of chronic lung disease (like asthma or COPD) or heart disease.

Don't breathe the ash from the fires. Ash can irritate your respiratory system. Adults should use a protective mask (N-95 or P-100) while in areas where ash particles cannot be controlled. N-95 masks must be properly fitted and are not designed for children or people with facial hair, subsequently they will not provide full protection.

Protective clothing is important: wear goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toes and insoles (not just steel shank), long sleeves, and long pants to avoid skin contact. Handle all burned plastics with gloves as possible toxins can come off the plastic.

Debris: Watch for broken glass, exposed: wires, nails, wood, metal, plastic, falling trees and tree limbs.

• Watch for Ash Pits and mark them for safety. Ash pits are holes of hot or cold ashes, created by burned trees and stumps. Falling into ash pits can cause burns and/or injuries.

• Get a Tetanus shot if you have not had a booster in the last 10 years or cannot remember when your last shot was. Contact your healthcare provider or JCPH at 303-232-6301for more information.

Food Products

If you are not certain food is safe, throw it out!

·         Throw away food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
·         Wash fruits and vegetables with water from a safe source before eating.

How to determine if food from the refrigerator and freezer is safe to eat:

·         Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
·         If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on. If the freezer thermometer reads 40°F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen.

·         If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to
determine its safety. You can't rely on appearance or odor. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.

·         Keep in mind that perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if onsumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked.

For more information please visit:

Centers for Disease Control

Food & Drug Administration