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January 06, 2014   Email to Friend 

NEAR RECORD COLD PROMPTS FIRE SAFETY REMINDERS FROM STATE FIRE MARSHAL
Steve Holmes, PIO
(333) 240-4434
January 06, 2014

Alabama Fire Marshal Ed Paulk encourages residents who warm their homes with fireplaces to practice a few safety tips to prevent fire damage. Fireplaces should have sturdy screens to stop sparks from flying into the room, and flammable objects should be stored at least 3-feet away from heating sources.

Home heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths, injuries and property damage. With bitter cold, freezing temperatures and wind chills forecast for the next few days, the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office is offering a few timely, simple safety tips to help state residents stay warm.

“More than half of Alabama’s home heating fires are reported during the colder months of December, January, and February, so using common sense could easily save your life,” said State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk.

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to state and local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. Never use Natural Gas in LP Gas appliances or vice versa.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to test your smoke alarms monthly.
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance, such as a space heater, into an electrical outlet at a time.
Nationally, heating equipment is involved in one of every seven house fires and one in every six home fire deaths.

For more information, visit firemarshal.alabama.gov or call (334) 241-4166. To report arson or a suspicious fire, contact the Alabama Arson Hotline at 1-800-654-0775.


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