JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – According to the National Fire Protection Association, house fires occur more in the winter than any other season.
Officials with the Jackson Fire Department (JFD) said it’s important that homeowners take the proper steps to make sure their family and home are protected from winter fire hazards.
Furnaces should have regular maintenance to operate properly. Annual cleaning, and inspections are recommended. Don’t use the oven for heating.
Electric Space Heaters
Space heaters need their space. Keep combustibles at least three feet away from each heater. When buying a heater, look for a thermostat control mechanism and a switch that automatically shuts off the power if the heater falls over. Heaters are not dryers or tables. Don’t dry or store objects on top of your heater.
Keep fire where it belongs – in the fireplace. Make sure you have a screen large enough to catch flying sparks and rolling logs. Clean your chimney regularly – creosote build-up can ignite your chimney, roof and the whole house. Have your chimney inspected annually for damage and obstructions. Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container.
Always put candles in non-tip candleholders before you light them, and do not burn candles near decorations or displays. Keep candles well away from curtains, and never put candles in windows or near exits. Never leave a room with a candle burning or within reach of small children.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
Having fire extinguishers – and knowing how to use them – is an important part of maintaining a safe home for you and your family. When seconds count, having a fire extinguisher nearby is crucial for rapid response. Fire extinguishers should be stored where they are easily reachable and in key rooms where there is a higher risk for fires. For general protection, it’s best to select a multi-rated fire extinguisher.
Additional fire safety tips
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month.
Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
Create a home fire escape plan. Your ability to get out of your home during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning. Once you’re out, stay out.