The cold weather is on its way and everyone will soon be heating their homes. Did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? MFRD wants to reduce the chances of it happening to you or your family!
Follow these simple steps from the National Fire Protection Association to stay warm and safe during the cold seasons:
• Keep anything that is flammable or combustible at least three-feet away from heating equipment. This includes furnaces, fireplaces, wood burning stoves, and portable space heaters.
• Have at least a three-feet “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 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.
• Wood burning stoves should be installed using the manufacturer’s instructions or by a professional. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
• Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the home immediately and call Police/Fire Non-emergency Dispatch at 615-893-1311.
• Make sure your 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.
According to Assistant Fire Marshal Tracy Summar, MFRD has experienced many cases of fires that started due to improper refueling of kerosene heaters. “Kerosene heaters should be refilled outdoors and only when they have cooled completely,” Summar said.
Another very important thing to consider is the smoke alarms in your home. Working smoke alarms can cut your risk of fire-related death in half. MFRD will be partnering with the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) this Saturday (November 14) with the assistance of the Red Cross to canvas several areas in Murfreesboro to offer free smoke alarms and installation to residents in need.
This effort is in conjunction with the SFMO’s “100 for 100 Challenge” in which 10 fire stations in Middle Tennessee are challenged to install 100 smoke alarms in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The canvas will begin at 9:00 am Saturday.
If you would like MFRD to visit your residence on Saturday, contact Ashley McDonald at MFRD Fire Administration at 615-893-1422 Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-4:30 pm to be added to the list. Keep in mind Fire Administration will be closed on Wednesday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.
If you are unavailable Saturday, there are other opportunities to have your smoke alarms checked or have additional alarms installed in your home through MFRD’s Project SAFE “Smoke Alarms for Everyone.” For more information, visit http://www.murfreesborotn.gov/index.aspx?NID=145.