Fire department shares home heating safety tips

Fire Safety During Winter

WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - The Wynne Fire Department says that just like other areas, they see an increase in fires during the colder months when electricity and space heaters are used more often. The Wynne Fire Department has some safety tips to keep your family and home safe.

The most recent fire was an electrical fire in the attic of one Wynne home. There were no injuries, but it took firefighters about 3 hours to put it out.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for 43 percent of U.S. home heating fires and 85 percent of associated deaths.

Captain Kory Ward says the biggest safety precaution you can take is to make sure nothing is coming into close contact with your heater.

“Just distancing anything that could possibly catch on fire or possibly be a hazard to that is obviously the smartest thing to do. Anything from curtains, to blankets, to stuffed animals,” said Ward.

Additional tips for in-home heaters include:

  • Keep objects at a minimum of three feet away from the heater
  • Making sure your heater has a seal of a nationally recognized testing lab
  • Installing smoke alarms outside all sleeping areas and making sure the batteries work,
  • Never leave your heater unattended or on while sleeping,
  • Make sure the heater is on a flat surface,
  • Do not use extension cords or power strips.
  • During use, frequently check to determine if the heater plug, cord, wall outlet, or faceplate is hot. If so, turn it off and have a qualified electrician inspect it.

For kerosene heaters:

  • Use only water-clear 1-K grade kerosene. Never use a substitute like gasoline or any other fuel.
  • Never refuel the heater while it is operating or hot.
  • Operate only at the recommended flame height.
  • Operate with doors and windows open to reduce carbon monoxide.

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