With cooler temperatures expected toward the end of the week as a cold front pushes its way across the state, Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR) wants to remind residents of some very important winter heating safety practices.
“Half of all home heating fires occur during December, January, and February each year,” stated Fire Marshal Joshua Sanders, noting that 1 in 7 home fires and 1 in 5 home fire deaths involves some sort of heating equipment.
“We understand that it is important to keep warm during the winter months, but we want our citizens to do so safely,” Sanders said.
Best practices for safely heating your home this winter include:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from heat sources (fireplace, wood stove, radiator, space heaters).
- Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away from your home as possible.
- Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
- Plug only one heat-producing appliance (like a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
- Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents every year.
- Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep it outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby buildings.
Sanders adds that having the proper amount of smoke alarms in the home can also make a big difference. “Working smoke alarms can reduce your risk of home fire death in half.”
RCFR can assist with free smoke alarm installation for Rutherford County residents. If you need assistance, please contact the administration office at 615-867-4626 Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more safety tips, visit www.nfpa.org/safety.