This coming week, we are going to see the coldest temperatures of the season so far. With temperatures reaching down into the 20’s, people across the area are going to start using alternative methods to heat their homes.
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that from 2013 to 2015, an average of 45,900 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year. These fires caused an annual average of approximately 205 deaths, 725 injuries and $506 million in property loss. It’s also reported by the USFA that home heating fires are the second leading cause of residential fires, only second to fires involving cooking.
Guntersville Fire/Rescue would like to pass along a few tips for home heating during these times.
- If you’re going to use portable heaters, they must be placed on a solid, flat surface and must be kept at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials.
- The power cords for these heaters must be checked for cracks and breaks in the wire. These heating devices should never be plugged into a power strip, only directly into wall outlets.
- Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Never use an oven to heat your home. This device is not designed for that purpose.
- Maintain your heating equipment such as making sure chimneys have been cleaned or inspected every year by a professional.
- Make sure to put hot ashes or coals into metal containers with a lid, outside, and at least 3 feet from your home or any other combustible material.
- Make sure to have the proper safety warning devices installed in your home such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors if using gas to heat.
If you find yourself without a smoke alarm installed in your home, please call Guntersville Fire/Rescue to have one installed by one of our firefighters. These smoke alarms are free to the public and can help save your life if a fire does occur. You can set up your appointment for installation by calling Guntersville Fire Station 1 at (256) 571-7577.