According to information chief Poole has found fires can begin easily by using alternative heating sources.
Each winter the high cost of home heating fuels and utilities causes many Americans to search for alternate sources of home heating. The use of wood burning stoves is growing and space heaters are selling rapidly. Fireplaces are burning wood and man-made logs. All these methods of heating may be acceptable. They are however, a major contributing factor in home fires according to the USFA and local fire departments.
Many of these fires can be prevented. You can prevent the loss of life and property resulting from heating fires by being able to identify potential hazards and following a few safety tips:
• All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
• Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
• Make sure all fuel-burning heating equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
• Only purchase portable space heaters with an automatic shut-off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
• Allow wood stove and fireplace ashes to cool before disposing of them in a tightly covered metal container. Keep the container at least 10 feet away from your home.
It’s also extremely important, says chief Poole, to have smoke alarms throughout your home as well as carbon monoxide alarms if you use gas heat. These can save you and your family’s life. Make sure you check and change the batteries in these alarms periodically.
“I would like to see every home in the City of Russellville have at least one working smoke alarm. We have a few more we can give out and will come to your home and install it where it needs to be,” said chief Poole adding, “You should have a working smoke alarm outside each bedroom. We respond to so many residential fires that have smoke alarms but they don’t work, usually because the batteries have never been changed or they have been taken out due to unwanted activation. Smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms just won’t work without good batteries.”