Winter Brings Heating Fire Risks

With temperatures beginning to drop, Tulsa area emergency personnel are reminding residents of the risks of home heating fires.

Nearly half of all home heating fires occur during the winter months, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The associatioin said heating equipment is involved in about 70,000 home fires, which kills more than 600 people, injuries another 1,600 and accounts for more than $1 billion in property damage.

“While these numbers are frightening, nearly all of these fires are preventable,” said Bill French, Tulsa Fire Department spokesman “We can reduce the number of home heating fires in our community be taking some simple precautions and using heating equipment properly.”

NFPA and the Tulsa 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.