Fire Prevention - Public Education
Well looked what showed up even earlier this year! If you are a snowmobiler or skier your probably happy!
With the arrival of the cold weather again we all need to pay some extra attention to fire safety in our homes. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) there is an increased risk of fire in the home during the winter months, half of the home fires occur in the months of December, January, and February.
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Winter Fire Safety
Here are a few tips to help keep your home safe:
- Heating equipment is involved in 1 in every 6 reported home fires and 1 in every 5 home fire deaths.
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3' away from any heat source.
- Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents each year.
- Burn only well seasoned and dry wood in the fire place.
- Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container at least 10' from your home and other buildings.
- Plug in only 1 heat producing appliance, such as a space heater, into an electrical outlet.
- Be sure to test your smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms; replace smoke alarms that are more than 10-years old and CO alarms that more than 7-years old.
- Make sure you have a CO alarm on each floor of your home, outside the sleeping area's is recommended.
- Be sure to change the furnace filter as needed.
- Clean the dry filter after each use and the vent at least once a year or as needed.
- Be sure to shovel out the fire hydrant near your home, even if it is not in your yard, that same hydrant might be needed for your home.
- Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher in your home that is in an easily accessible location.
- If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
- If you prefer a real tree choose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Make sure the tree is at least 3' away from any heat source, like candles, fire places, space heaters, radiators, heat vents or lights.