FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As temperatures drop, the Springfield Fire Department reminds citizens to be safe when heating homes. Heating is one of the top causes of residential fires in the Springfield community. Causes include neglected furnace and chimney flue maintenance, improper use of space heaters and electrical malfunction.
Home heating fires are largely preventable when you know the rules. To help keep our community safe and warm this season, SFD recommends the following:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home—when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Create an escape plan and practice often with your family. Make sure everyone who lives with you knows the family meeting place in case of emergency.
- Space heaters need space and should have tip-over protection. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
- Turn portable heaters off and unplug when you go to bed or leave the room.
- Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
- Inspect for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
- Have your chimney inspected each year by a qualified professional and cleaned if necessary.
- Have your furnace inspected each year by qualified professional and replace your furnace filters as required by the specifications. Furnace closets should not be used for storage. This can increase the risk for fire.
- Use a sturdy fireplace screen. Burn only dry, well-seasoned fire wood.
- Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.
- Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Never use an oven to heat your home.
- Close before you doze. A closed door can isolate the fire’s flow, reduce room temperatures, and keep carbon monoxide levels down.
- Make sure your heating equipment has the label showing that it is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
- Supervise children around open fires and when space heaters are being used.
Fire Chief David Pennington also wants to remind citizens of the importance of working smoke alarms.
“It is critical to your safety that you have working smoke alarms in your home. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area,” Pennington says.
The Fire Department provides free smoke alarms to Springfield residents. Contact the Fire Department at 417-874-2300 or [email protected] to request one.
Media inquiries are directed to the Springfield Fire Department media line at 417-874-2301.