Tuesday, December 07, 2010
The Bernalillo County Fire Department warns that while cold weather heating is a necessity during the winter season, it can also present a deadly fire hazard.
"Since the cold weather began, we have averaged about 5 fires a week that were due to improper use of heating devices, including not having chimneys cleaned out before using fireplaces,” says Bernalillo Count Fire Chief Garcia. “However, most fires can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions."
Chief Garcia recommends using the following guidelines:
- Keep heating devices at least three feet away from curtains upholstered furniture and any other flammable items.
- Make sure to use only U. L. approved electrical cords and electrical appliances.
- Never over load outlets.
- Replace electrical cords that are frayed or damaged.
- Turn off all electric appliances when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Lights made for indoor use should only be used inside your house. Don't use them outdoors.
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and in every bedroom.
- Don't overload fire places or wood burning stoves and have the chimney or stove pipes cleaned at least once a year to remove soot build-up.
- Keep the screens or doors closed on fireplaces and wood stoves at all times.
- Only use approved stovepipe.
Follow manufactures recommended guidelines when installing stoves, or fireplaces.
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