Lexington Fire Dept: Be safe with your space heater

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Space, Heater, Safety

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – As temperatures cool down, it’s likely you’ll want to heat your home or business up. But before you turn on that heat source, there are some things the Fire Department wants you to remember.

Heating equipment is the second most common cause of home fire deaths. The upcoming months: December, January and February are the times when half of all home heating fires occur. “We know that home fires and related deaths peak in cooler months and there are simple steps people can take to reduce the risk and protect themselves and their loved ones”, says Firefighter Jessica Bowman. Bowman recommends taking the following steps to help lower your chances of fire, injury or property loss.

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  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • Maintain a three foot “kid-free” and “pet-free” zone around open fires and space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Never leave portable heaters on 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. Always keep the container of ashes a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Smoke alarms also have an important part to play in protecting your property and family. Statistics show that 60 percent of fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms, or with non-working alarms. In an effort to combat that staggering number, the Lexington Fire Department, in partnership with the American Red Cross, offers free 10-year-sealed smoke alarms to people living in Fayette County. Residents can call (859) 231-5662 to schedule a time for a team of firefighters to come to their home and install the alarms.