Winter Storm Fire Prevention Tips

Generator Safety

  • 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 connect generators to another power source such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or ‘backfeed’ can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.

portable_generator_Safety

 

OverShoulder_Brunette_Woman_Warming_ByFireHeating Safety

  • Alternative heaters need their space. Keep anything that can catch fire at least three feet away.
  • Make sure your alternative heaters have ‘tip switches.’ These ‘tip switches’ are designed to automatically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.
  • Kerosene heaters may not be legal in your area and should only be used where approved by authorities.
  • Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer and follow suggested guidelines.
  • 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 anything that can catch fire. Ensure they have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation.
  • Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby carpets, furniture or other items that can catch fire.
  • 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.

and Remember…

  • candle_shutterstock_121993714Always use a flashlight – not a candle – for emergency lighting.
  • Some smoke alarms may be dependent on your home’s 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.
  • If there is a fire hydrant near your home, keep it clear of snow, ice and debris for easy access by the fire department.
The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Winter Storm Fire Safety Outreach Materials.” For more information, please visit www.usfa.fema.gov.

 

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