GREENVILLE CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT JOINING WITH STATE FIRE MARSHAL TO URGE FIRE SAFETY DURING EXTREME COLD
The Greenville City Fire Department is joining with State Fire Marshal Bert Polk, who issued a plea this morning asking for the public’s help as S.C. residents brace for extreme cold temperatures. “We know that with lower temperatures, people are going to use whatever means they have to stay warm, and unfortunately, that is when we see fire deaths increase,” said Polk. “With everyone’s help, we can prevent these needless tragedies.”
According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, historically, fire deaths increase about 63% in the winter months (December-March). As a result, the Greenville City Fire Department is urging residents to follow the fire safety tips below, and to check on friends, neighbors and the elderly, who may be vulnerable to fire-related tragedy.
Fire Safety Tips:
· Check your smoke alarms to make sure they work. Replace any that do not work or that are more than 10 years old.
· If there is a fire, get out and stay out. Call 911 as soon as you are safely outside.
· Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment such as furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and portable space heaters.
· Keep kids and pets away from open fires and space heaters.
· Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
· Never use an oven to heat your home.
· Only use heating equipment that bears the label of a recognized testing laboratory and has an automatic shut-off.
· Place space heaters on a solid, flat surface and keep them and their electrical cords away from flammable items, high traffic areas and doorways.
· Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.
· Inspect space heaters for damaged cords, broken plugs or loose connections, and replace them before using the heater.
· If you use fuel-burning space heaters, use the proper fuel as specified by the manufacturer. · When refueling, allow the appliance to cool first and then refuel outside.
· When using a fuel-burning space heater, open a window to ensure proper ventilation.
· If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the building immediately and call 911.
· Only use wood stoves that bear the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
· Burn only dry, seasoned wood in wood stoves, and burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets in pellet stoves.
· Keep the doors of your wood stove closed unless loading or stoking the live fire.
· Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from the home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.