Spokane Fire Department wants residents to keep warm safely

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager 509.742.0063

Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 8:38 a.m.

With colder temperatures becoming more common, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) wants to help residents greatly reduce their chances of becoming a fire casualty by outlining the following safety tips.

  • Alternative heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least 3 feet away.
  • Be sure your heater is in good working condition. Inspect exhaust parts for carbon build up. Be sure the heater has an emergency shut off in case the heater is tipped over.
  • Use a generator or other fuel-powered machines outside the house. Carbon Monoxide fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
  • Use appropriate sized and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
  • Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
  • Never use fuel burning appliances without proper room venting. Burning fuel can produce deadly fumes.
  • Have a chimney professionally inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used in some time.
  • Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper can help rekindle the fire, forcing toxic carbon monoxide into the residence.
  • Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
  • Be sure every level of your home has a working smoke alarm. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly.

“During this time of the year, we see residents searching for alternative sources of heating,” says SFD Fire Marshal Michael Miller. “The Spokane Fire Department wants residents to keep warm safely and maintain a fire-safe home this winter. Many fires during the colder months can be prevented.”

For more fire safety tips contact SFD’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 509-625-7058. A variety of community education resources are also available to help meet the needs of both children and adults. Fire safety presentations can be arranged for neighborhood, business, civic, or education groups.