OSWEGO, NY – With home heating season upon us, the Oswego Fire Department would like to remind residents of the importance of home heating safety.
U.S. fire departments respond to an average 62,550 home structure fires that Involve home heating equipment each year. These fires cause on average of 516 deaths, more than 1,595 civilian fire injuries and roughly $924 million in direct property damage each year.
As you might expect, half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February and heating equipment is involved in roughly one in five home fire deaths.
Half of home heating fire deaths were caused by fires that started because portable heating equipment was placed too close to things that could burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, and mattresses or bedding.
Petroleum-fueled heating devices, particularly space heaters such a kerosene heaters, pose a higher risk of death due to carbon monoxide poisoning than other heating equipment.
So the Oswego Fire Department Fire Prevention Team suggests the following:
Keep or maintain at least a three-foot clearance between all heating equipment and anything that can burn.
Do not use your oven to heat your home.
Inspect and maintain heating equipment regularly for safety.
Portable space heaters should be turned off every time you leave the room and before going to bed.
Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Allow fireplace and wood/pellet/coal stove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container.
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Test smoke alarms monthly.
Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Supervise children when near open fires such as fireplaces and when around space heaters.
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.
The Oswego Fire Department has smoke detectors available to the residents of the city.
On-duty firefighters will even deliver, install and test them.
Please call 343 -2161 to set up a time for installation.
Source: Oswego Fire Department records, National Fire Protection Association.