Lincoln County Journal

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Community: Winter Fire Safety Tips

Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

We typically see an uptick in home fires during colder weather. Many of these fires result from a lack of knowledge and are entirely preventable. Here are a few tips to help you keep your family safe:

1. Wood burning fireplaces: Chimneys and flues should be cleaned at least once each year, prior to the start of the season. Products of combustion build up on the inside and can cause a flue fire. Unfortunately, these fires are not always contained inside the flue.

2. Cleaning out the fireplace: Fireplace ashes should always be discarded into a metal container with a tight fitting lid and placed outside, away from the home and on a non-combustible surface, such as concrete or gravel. Do not place the container on a wood deck or in the garage. Hot embers can remain insulated inside fireplace ashes for days and cause a fire.

3. Space heaters help keep us warm, but can easily cause a fire if proper care is not taken. Do not place combustibles within 3 feet of a space heater…heat from the heater can ignite clothes, bedding materials, boxes and other items.

4. Circuit breakers in our electrical panel help protect us. A circuit breaker that “trips” more than once is a cause for concern. It typically means the circuit is overloaded or that too much amperage has been drawn through the circuit. The problem should be investigated by a professional. Do not tape circuit breakers in the “on” position…this defeats the safety mechanism and can cause a fire.

5. Outside fires must be attended at all times. Many homes have been damaged by fire because homeowners have left an outside fire unattended. Always have a means of extinguishment handy as well.

As always, please contact us with any questions at 636-528-8567.