Home fires occur more in winter than in any other season. As you snuggle in to stay cozy and warm this winter, the Idaho Falls Fire Department reminds you to be safe when using home heating equipment.
Fall is the ideal time to have chimneys, fireplaces and other home heating sources cleaned and inspected. Annual inspections provide early detection of problems that could cause fires, carbon monoxide poisoning or structural deterioration. Cleaning of chimneys and fuel-burning appliance vents needs to be done when measurable deposits of creosote or other combustible materials are detected.
“If you’ve had a chimney fire in the past, the extreme heat may have caused damage that you may not be able to see,” explains IFFD Battalion Chief Rob Hall. “An inspection of both the interior and exterior of the chimney is the best way to ensure that it is safe to use.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that started when something that could burn, like upholstered furniture, clothing, curtains and bedding were too close to heating equipment. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heat sources, and have a sturdy screen on a fireplace.
IFFD Public Information Officer Kerry Hammon, states, “Recently, we have seen an influx of people moving into our area who may not be as familiar with the operation and maintenance of home heating equipment. If you have moved to a new home, have your chimney, vents and flues inspected and cleaned prior to using fuel-burning appliances.”
Hall adds, “Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood that has been split, staked and allowed to dry for twelve months. Always allow ashes time to cool before disposing of them in a metal container. Store the container outside and away from other structures."
For other fire prevention information, go to the Idaho Falls Fire Department website, follow the department on Facebook and Twitter, or call IFFD’s Fire Prevention Division at (208) 612-8497.
Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122, [email protected].