- 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.
- 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.
- Always 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.|