FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As fall progresses into winter and the days and nights become colder in the Ozarks, the Springfield Fire Department urges you to stay safe this winter as you heat your home.
The department has responded to 1,602 structure fires over the past five years (2017-2022). Of those fires, 127 were caused by heating appliances, including furnaces, space heaters and alternative methods of heating.
The Springfield Fire Department reminds you to avoid unsafe heating conditions by following these tips:
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heaters.
- Have a 3 feet kid-free zone around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the 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.
- Make sure the 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.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
- If there is a fire, get out and stay out. Call 9-1-1 to report the fire. Notify the Fire Department when they arrive if anyone or any pets are still inside. Do not attempt to re-enter your structure.
“A working smoke alarm is your first line of defense against a fire. Changing the batteries once every six months and replacing them every 10 years keeps them in working order,” Fire Chief David Pennington says.
Smoke alarms should be installed and maintained in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement.
The Fire Department provides free smoke alarms to Springfield residents and may be requested by calling Fire Department Headquarters at 417-874-2300 or by email at [email protected].
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For media only: For more information, call the Springfield Fire Department media line at 417-874-2301.