For release: October 29, 2009
For more information, contact:
Lee Brown, Fire Chief
Downieville Fire Department Wants to Keep You Safe and Warm This Winter
Downieville, October, 2009 – As the temperature outside drops, Sierra County families take to the indoors to keep safe and warm. What they may not realize is that turning up the heat can increase the risk of home heating fires.– As the temperature outside drops, Sierra Countyfamilies take to the indoors to keep safe and warm. What they may not realize is that turning up the heat can increase the risk of home heating fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly half of all home-heating fires occur during the winter months. On average, NFPA research show that heating equipment is involved in roughly 70,000 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated loss of more than 600 civilian deaths, almost 1,600 civilian injuries and more than $1 billion in direct property damage.
"While these numbers are frightening, nearly all of these fires are preventable," said Lee Brown, Downieville Fire Chief. "We can reduce the number of home heating fires in our community by taking some simple precautions and using heating equipment properly."
NFPA and Downieville Fire Department recommend some simple home heating safety tips, so residents can help keep our community safe and warm this winter.
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.
Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
Plug power cord only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
Inspect for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home so that 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 fuel assistance, contact the Energy Assistance Referral Line at 866-674-6327 or visit www.energynear.org.