SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
With colder temperatures becoming more common as winter approaches, the Reno Fire Department wants to help residents greatly reduce their chances of becoming a fire casualty by outlining the following safety tips.
• Alternative heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least 3 feet away.
• Be sure your heater is in good working condition. Inspect exhaust parts for carbon build up. Be sure the heater has an emergency shut off in case the heater is tipped over.
• Use a generator or other fuel-powered machines outside the home. Carbon Monoxide fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
• Use appropriate sized and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
• Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
• Never use fuel burning appliances without proper room venting. Burning fuel can produce deadly fumes.
• Have a chimney professionally inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used in some time.
• Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper can help rekindle the fire, forcing toxic carbon monoxide into the house.
• Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
• Be sure every level of your home has a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms may be dependent on your homes’ electrical service and could be inoperative during a power outage. Check to see if your smoke alarm uses a back-up battery and install a new battery at least once a year. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly.
“During this time of the year, we see residents searching for alternative sources of home heating,” advises Reno Fire Marshal Joan Presley. “The Reno Fire Department wants residents to keep warm safely and maintain a fire-safe home this winter. Many fires during the colder months can be prevented.”
For more winter home safety tips visit www.usfa.fema.gov. If you have questions on home fire safety contact the Reno Fire Department’s Division of Fire Prevention at 334-2300.