Critical safety tips to remember while warming your home for the winter
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As Lubbock residents turn to space heaters and generators to keep the heat on during the winter, Lubbock Fire Rescue wants homeowners to know using them incorrectly could be deadly.
LFR says it’s already responded to multiple fires caused by fireplaces this season. Those are often caused by a build up of creosote inside a chimney. Captain Phillip Grandon says if your chimney needs to be cleaned, you’ll know by the sound.
“If you hear strange noises coming from your chimney, anything like a roaring, or if you have lots of pops and cracks that are not from the wood, it may be time to get somebody out to clean that chimney,” Grandon said.
When it comes to space heaters, Grandon says they are called that for a reason.
“Give them space,” Grandon said. “You don’t want anything within three feet of that heater, so don’t put them anywhere close to your bed or a pile of clothes or anything that can burn.”
Along with space, those heaters should never be plugged into a power strip or extension cord, in order to avoid fires triggered by an electrical short.
The risk of power outages also increases during extreme weather. That may force some people to use generators to power a heating unit. Those should be set up so that any exhaust is ventilated out of the home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
“We don’t want any type of carbon monoxide build up inside a space,” Grandon said. “They say carbon monoxide is the silent killer. Your not gonna smell it. Your can’t see it in the air. Your can’t taste it.”
Following these tips could save your life or property while keeping you warm. Grandon says there are two things every home should have.
“Everybody needs smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors,” Grandon said. “These simple tools really do save lives. If you have them, make sure they’re working. Go test it if you haven’t in a while. All you have to do is just push that button and make sure it beeps.”
Alarms should be tested at least once a month and should not be more than 10 years old.
The city reports three out of five fire deaths happen in homes without a working smoke detector.
Nationwide, between 2014 and 2018, fires started by heating equipment killed 500 people, and caused more than billion dollars in damage. That’s according to the National Fire Protection Association.
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