Skip to page body Home About Lower Merrion Departments and Services I Want To... Residents Businesses Quick Links
Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

Winter Fires

 

Heating Fire Safety

 

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.

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 3 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.

 Heating Fire Safety Action Steps>>

 

Electrical Fire Safety

Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 280 Americans each year. Many of these fires are caused by incorrectly installed wiring and overloaded circuits and extension cords.

Winter fires can be prevented! The following electrical fire safety tips can help you maintain a fire-safe home this winter season.

  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
  • Replace any electrical tool if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out, or gives off smoke or sparks.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, like UL.
  • Keep clothes, curtains, and other potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Don't allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons, and hair dryers.
  • Use safety closures to "child-proof" electrical outlets.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.

 

 

Last updated: 4/1/2014 1:43:05 PM