For The Vista
The wave of harsh winter weather rolling through the Volunteer State is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake that includes home fires, frozen pipes, and power outages.
Fairfield Glade Fire Chief Howard Robb wants to remind everyone in Fairfield Glade how crucial it is to keep fire safety in mind during the winter months.
The brutally cold conditions we have experienced this week can drastically increase fire risks during what is already a peak season for residential fires.
It is crucial to make fire safety a priority in and around our homes to avoid the damage that can accompany frigid temperatures.”
These tips help to ward off winter fire hazards:
• If your home has sustained flood or water damage, and you can safely get to the main breaker or fuse box, turn off the power.
• Assume all wires on the ground are electrically charged. This includes cable TV feeds.
• Exposed outlets and wiring could present a fire and life safety hazard.
• Appliances that emit smoke or sparks should be repaired or replaced.
• Have a licensed electrician check your home for damage.
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using generators.
• Use a generator or other fuel-powered machines outside the home. CO fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
• Use the appropriate sized and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
• Never run cords under rugs or carpets where heat might build up or damage to a cord may go unnoticed.
• Never connect generators to another power source such as power lines.
The reverse flow of electricity or ‘back feed’ can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
• Turn portable alternative heaters (such as space heaters or kerosene heaters) off when you go to bed or leave the room.
• Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything that can burn (including you!) at least three feet away.
• Make sure your portable heaters have ‘tip switches.’ These ‘tip switches’ are designed to automatically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.
• 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 refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot.
• Refuel heaters only outdoors.
• Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, and at least three feet away from combustible materials.
Ensure they have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation.