WINTER FIRE SAFETY STARTS NOW
The cold weather is finally upon us - and here to stay. With the cold comes leaves and dry yard waste, space/portable heaters, and the fireplaces are starting to roar. Making sure our cold and snow appliances are prepared for the season NOW can prevent a fire in the middle of that cold, winter night. Here are a few tips on preparing for the winter:
- CHECK YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS! "Change your clock, change your batteries" - especially if you'll be turning on heaters and lighting fires in your fireplace. You would be amazed how much of a difference it can make if you catch a fire at its incipient stage - it could be the difference between calling 911 and using an extinguisher on a small ember that landed on your carpet.
- Replan your family escape plan. The winter can cause more risks when exiting your house, you may want to revisit your escape plan and see if you need to make any adjustments.
- If you have a fireplace in your house always place a screen in front of it when in use, and make sure your chimney is clean and properly ventilated.
- Make sure you are storing your cooled ashes safely in a covered metal container at least 10 feet aware from any buildings.
- Check electric blankets and body heaters for frayed cords or damage on either connector before use.
- Keep curtains, tablecloths, bedding, or any flamable items away from heaters and radiators. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet awat from any heat source.
- Only connect 1 heater or appliance to an outlet.
- Never leave fires or candles burning when you go to bed; make sure they are properly and thoroughly extinguished.
Finally, during the winter you can also expect a number of power outages due to weighted tree branches pulling down wires. Plan ahead - make sure your flashlights are somewhere you can find easily, and that you are using surge protectors when applicable (note that most surge protectors are only guaranteed for a 1 time use, so while they may help prevent a fire at the plug, your technology is still at risk).