Reno Fire Department Wants Residents to Keep Warm Safely
With the first cold snap of the season, the Reno Fire Department wants residents to make sure they maintain a fire-safe home.
"Having a fire-safe home means having working smoke detectors, keeping anything combustible at least three feet away from any heat source, following safety directions on any heaters or generators, making sure hot ashes are discarded properly, and having an escape plan for your family and practicing it," advises Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez.
Below are a few winter 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.
Remember when an emergency strikes, have a plan, have a place to meet, and call 9-1-1.
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.