Winter Time Fire Safety
Winter time leads to an overall increase in home fires especially due to the need to effectively heat our homes. Lack of maintenance, improper installation and use of heating appliances causes an increase in fires during the winter months. A few simple safety rules should be reviewed to keep your home and family safe this winter.
“Whether you use a wood stove, pellet stove or a fireplace, routine maintenance is the best safety tip,” reminded Alan Zygmunt, Public Fire Safety Coordinator for the Connecticut Fire Academy, “this rule also applies to your regular furnace.”
- Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when having maintenance done on your heating unit.Have any heating unit serviced annually by a qualified technician.
- Contact your local Fire Department or Building Official to ask questions about any alternative heating device prior to installation and use.
- Watch how you dispose of hot ashes.Fireplace ash can retain heat for many hours, so store them in a metal container well away from the home.
- Have your chimney inspected annually by a qualified person to clean out any creosote buildup.Also they will ensure there are no cracks or loose bricks which can cause either a fire or carbon monoxide to enter your home.
- Lastly, have working Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors in your home and practice your escape plan with your family.
These simple tips will help to keep your family safe this winter, and if you need additional information contact your local fire department or you can go to the U.S. Fire Administration website at www.usfa.fema.gov and search for winter fires.
The Connecticut Fire Academy is the teaching arm of the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control. Part of their mission is educating the public in fire and burn prevention.