Welcome to Indian Hills Fire Rescue
Winter Fire Safety
Winter is right around the corner. With the colder weather and approaching holidays, electricity use rises as well as the use of woodburning fireplaces and stoves. Understanding basic electrical and chimney safety principles can help you protect your home and family from the devastation of a house fire.
Here are some electrical considerations:
- Routinely check electrical appliances and wiring. Replace all old, damaged, or worn cords immediately.
- Watch for warning signs of electrical problems such as outlets or switches that are warm or make crackling, sizzling, or buzzing noises.
- Do not use extension cords on a permanent basis and never use them with appliances, space heaters, or air conditioners.
- Avoid overloading circuits.
- Do not use light bulbs that exceed the recommended wattage of the light fixture.
- Replace any electrical tool that overheats, shorts out, gives off smoke, sparks, or causes even small electrical shocks.
- Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched by furniture, under rugs and carpets, or across doorways.
- Keep clothes, curtains, and other combustible items at least three feet from all heaters.
- Buy electrical products that have been evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
- Do not allow children to play around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons, and hair dryers.
- Never put a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Properly label all electrical panel circuits. Replace fuses and circuit breakers with the correct size and amperage.
- Unplug Christmas tree lights when leaving the house or going to bed.
- Hire a qualified electrician to do any electrical work or repairs.
- And donít forget to regularly check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors!
Creosote is the main cause of chimney fires. If it builds up in sufficient quantities and ignites inside the chimney flue, the result can be a chimney fire. Here are some tips to minimize creosote:
- Have your fireplace or woodstove inspected and/or cleaned annually.
- Burn only seasoned woods.
- Avoid burning trash or debris in a fireplace or woodstove.
- Do not allow the fire to smolder.
- Keep the area around the hearth clear of all combustibles.
- Use a metal mesh fireplace screen.
- Ensure that the chimney flue is never obstructed.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Install a spark arrester terminator cap at the end of your flue.
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