Columbia Fire offers winter weather safety tips : use caution when heating homes
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) –With the bitter cold temperatures sweeping across the Midlands, the Columbia Richland Fire Department is asking everyone to use caution when heating your homes.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires and the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
“People tend to use extension cords with space heaters, and you should not use extension cords with space heaters. Or multi plug adapters, or surge protectors. They generate a lot of heat, and they are typically the main cause of a fire. People tend to fall asleep while the heaters are on. You don’t want to fall asleep while they’re on. You want to turn them off, make sure it’s UL listed and certified, and keep a 36-inch clearance around that space heater,” says Public Fire Education Officer Ariel Thomas.
If you plan on using your home’s fireplace for the first time this season, be sure to have a professional inspect your chimney before use (and have an inspection at least once a year).
Sturdy screens to prevent flying sparks are also recommended for fireplaces.
CRFD also says to be sure to have at least one carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, have a fire alarm in every bedroom, and have a fire alarm just outside of bedrooms as well.
If you smell gas in your home, do not light any heating appliance. Leave your home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.