Colder Weather, More Fires

Reported by: Melanie Kendall
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Updated: 11/24/2013 11:55 pm

Temperatures are dropping but winter hasn’t even started yet.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, half of all home heating fires are between December and February.

Firefighters say as temperatures dip down, they get busier.  Their number one tip is to be smart.

“This time of year can be especially hazardous,” said Major Mark Harvey with the Lexington Fire Department.

Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Heating Safety Tips:

  • 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 the 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.
  • 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.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
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