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Winter Fire Safety Tips from Plainfield Fire Dept

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
Submitted by the Plainfield Fire Protection District:

Winter weather brings with it weather related fire safety precautions to keep your family and home safe. The Plainfield Fire Protection District would like to remind you of the following winter fire safety tips:

  • Give space and portable heaters space! Keep at least 3 feet of clear space around heaters and always plug them directly into a wall outlet. Only plug one heater into an outlet at one time.  Never use an extension cord to power a heater. Make sure fuel fired heaters are properly vented outside and always follow the manufactures directions for proper use.
  • Never use your oven or stove top to heat your home. Doing this is a fire hazard and can also cause a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide within your home.
  • Store fireplace ashes in a tightly covered steel container that is kept outside at least 10 feet from your home and other structures.
  • Make sure your home’s smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Hardwired devices also have battery back-up; make sure they have updated batteries that will work in the event of a power outage. 
  • If there’s a power outage and you use a portable generator it must be located outside your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use of the generator. Only use an appropriate type and sized power cord; improper power cords can overheat and cause a fire.  Never connect a generator to another power source like power lines; doing so can reverse the flow of electricity also referred to as “backfeed” and can electrocute a utility worker.
  • To help prevent pipes from freezing you can run a trickle of cold water from them.  Make sure you know how to shut off your home’s water in the event a pipe bursts. If your pipes are already frozen keep the faucet on so as the pipe thaws the water will flow through the frozen area. Apply heat to the frozen pipe using a heating pad, hair dryer or a safely located space heater. Never use a torch or open flame device to thaw pipes; this can heat up the pipe inside the wall and start a fire. If you’re unable to thaw your pipes contact a licensed plumber.
  • Please help keep fire hydrants near your home clear of snow for emergency access.

For more information you may visit: www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/winter_storms.shtm and www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.  You may also contact the Plainfield Fire Protection District at 815-436-5335 ext. 7314 or visit us on the web at www.plainfieldfpd.com.  ###

 

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