JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders with the Jackson Fire Department (JFD) said it’s important for homeowners to take the proper steps to make sure their families and homes are protected from winter fire hazards.
They provided some winter safety tips:
- Furnaces: Furnaces should have regular maintenance to operate properly. Annual cleaning, inspection are recommended. Don’t use the oven for heating.
- Electric Space Heaters: Keep combustibles at least three feet away from each heater. When buying a heater, look for a thermostat control mechanism and a switch that automatically shuts off the power if the heater falls over. Heaters are not dryers or tables. Don’t dry or store objects on top of your heater.
- Fireplace: Make sure you have a screen large enough to catch flying sparks and rolling logs. Clean your chimney regularly – creosote build-up can ignite your chimney, roof and the whole house. Have your chimney inspected annually for damage and obstructions. Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container. Cardboard boxes and paper bags can quickly catch fire. Only burn materials appropriate for a fireplace, never burn trash or paper, burning paper can float up a chimney and onto your roof or into your yard.
- Candles: Always put candles in non-tip candleholders before you light them, and do not burn candles near decorations or displays. Keep candles well away from curtains, and never put candles in windows or near exits. Never leave a room with a candle burning or within reach of small children.
- Cooking: Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
- Fire Extinguisher: Fire extinguishers should be stored where they are easily reachable and in key rooms where there is a higher risk for fires. For general protection, it’s best to select a multi-rated fire extinguisher.
- Additional fire safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
- Create a home fire escape plan.