GALVESTON, Texas -- With temperatures dropping below freezing Monday night, the Galveston Fire Department reminds residents to be safe using heating equipment.
Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Almost 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.
- 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 monthly.
“We want all residents and visitors to stay warm and safe” remarked Galveston Fire Chief Mike Wisko. “When the temperatures drop, we know the risk of fire increases and prevention is the key.”
For additional information about Galveston Fire Department, visit www.galvestonfire.com or call (409) 797-3850.