Important winter fire safety tips

Published 6:28 pm Friday, December 8, 2017

With the sudden temperature drop, sleet and rain that happened Friday, it seems winter has arrived early in Troup County. While it is chilly outside, it’s important to remember safety tips for the season. House fires and deaths can easily be preventable.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in one out of seven home fires, heating equipment is involved. It’s also involved in one in five home fire deaths. Make sure to keep anything flammable at least three-feet away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, radiators or space heaters, according to FEMA.

Plug only one heat producing appliance into an electrical outlet at one time.

Have your chimney and vents cleaned and inspected by a professional every year, according to FEMA. As much as furnaces are a moot point in Georgia, some residents may have them.

Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep it at least 10-feet from your home, according to FEMA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, if your heater has damaged electrical cords or makes sparks, don’t use it. If the heater breaks or electricity goes out, do not bring a generator inside the home. Generators produce carbon monoxide, an odorless toxin that can cause sudden illness and death. Generators should never be used inside the home, even outside near an open window.

If your living space is too cold and the power or heat is not working, find shelter with friends and family or go to a community shelter.

Additionally, every home should have a carbon monoxide detector. Batteries should be checked twice a year, according to the website.

We hope you stay safe this weekend.