As the temperature outside drops, area families take to the indoors to keep safe and warm. What they may not realize is turning up the heat can increase the risk of home heating fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of all home-heating fires occur during the winter months.
“These fires are preventable,” said Lyon County Fire Chief John Gillenwater. “We can reduce the number of home heating fires in our community by taking some simple precautions and using heating equipment properly.”
NFPA and Central Lyon County Fire District recommend simple home heating safety tips so residents can help keep the community safe and warm this winter.
Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture at least three feet away from heating equipment.
Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
Inspect for cracked, frayed or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
Have your chimney inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.
Use a sturdy fireplace screen.
Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home — when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
Never use an oven to heat your home.
For more information about home safety and other programs, contact the Fire District at 775-246-6209.