Fire Chief shares safety tips
With the approaching cold weather and Holiday season here, Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish Fire District #2 Fire Chief Harrison would like to offer the following safety tips to keep residents safe. Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening.
• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
• Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
• If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Never use extension cords!! Be sure to keep everything at least three feet away to keep combustibles from catching fire.
• Avoid using electric space heaters in bathrooms or other areas where they may come in contact with water.
• Never use your oven to heat your home.
• Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
• Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
• Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
• Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
• Test smoke alarms at least once a month and if you don’t have one please purchase one at your local shopping center.
Next comes Christmas and here are a few tips to keep you and you love ones safe when it comes to Christmas trees.
• Never block an exit with a Christmas tree.
• Only use non-flammable decorations.
• Place tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, creating fire hazards.
• Remove the tree from your home when the needles are brittle or begin to fall off.
• Pick a tree stand that can hold the tree securely.
• The stand should hold enough water for two days.
• You should throw out any holiday lights that show signs of fraying, bare wires or other wear.
We at the Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish Fire District #2 hope that you have a wonderful and safe holiday season and remember we are at your fingertips. If you have an Emergency Dial 911!!