Winter Safety

FIRE Family in front of Fireplace

Although the weather outside isn’t frightful, it is getting colder at night.  With the cold weather comes heaters and fireplaces and a potential danger to you and your family.  Carbon monoxide and portable heater fire dangers. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane are burned. When these fuels are burned inside enclosed spaces without proper ventilation it could result in injury and/or death. Do not bring in barbecues, outside propane heaters or patio heaters inside. Please keep what is meant to be used outside – outside.

Carbon monoxide poisoning causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of carbon monoxide exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.  Senate Bill (SB) 183 now requires carbon monoxide detectors in all residential units. Make sure to maintain and change the batteries in the carbon monoxide detectors at least twice a year. For the best placement, follow the manufactures recommendations for your carbon monoxide detectors.

If after starting a fire in the fireplace or lighting a gas heater you or a family member starts to get a headache, feels dizzy, appears disoriented, gets nauseous, or is unusually tired/fatigued, evacuate the building and call 911.

If you have a carbon monoxide alarm and it goes off, evacuate the building and call 911.

Indoor heating devices could also be dangerous if not used or maintained correctly. Follow the manufactures recommendations for keeping a clear distance around space heaters. Appliances should be regularly checked and maintained by a licensed professional contractor.

Here are some tips from FEMA to prevent a portable heater fire in your home:

  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Keep anything that can burn such as bedding, clothing and curtains at least three feet away.
  • Only use portable heaters from a recognized testing laboratory and with an automatic shut-off so that if they tip over, they shut off.
  • Plug portable heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 at 1:02 pm and is filed under Fire Department . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.