Keep safe during the winter

House fires occur more in winter than any other season. The Palm Coast Fire Department urges residents to be fire smart with these safety tips.

Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, including people.

Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc.). If these items get too close to the fireplace, they could catch fire.

Generators should be used outside only, and be sure to place them away from windows and doors. If using a generator, install carbon monoxide alarms, and test monthly.

Likewise, never use a grill indoors. Fuel-burning devices release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas.

Plug only one heat-producing appliance, such as a space heater, into an electric outlet at a time.

For fireplaces, be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire, and don’t close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.

The chimney should be checked annually by a professional. Even if the chimney is not due for cleaning, it is important to check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.

Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.

Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year.

Communicate to children as early as possible the dangers of fires and the heat generated from them. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

For more information, call the Palm Coast Fire Department at 386-986-2300.


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