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Home heating fires rise as temperatures drop

Home heating fires rise as temperatures drop

The latest from the City of Franklin

With the temperature forecasted to drop into the single digits, the Franklin Fire Department is offering simple tips you can follow to protect your family from a home heating fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is involved in more than 62,550 reported U.S. home structure fires every year, with associated loss of more than 516 civilian deaths, more than 1,595 civilian injuries and roughly $924 million in direct property damage per year.

“While these numbers are frightening, nearly all of these fires are preventable,” said Franklin Fire and Life Safety Educator Jamie Melton. “We can reduce the number of home heating fires in our community be taking some simple precautions and using heating equipment properly.”

The Franklin Fire Department recommends these simple home heating safety tips:

Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture at least three feet away from heating equipment.

  • Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Plug electric space heaters only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord. Inspect for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home.
  • Have your chimney inspected each year by a qualified professional and cleaned if necessary.
  • Use a sturdy fireplace screen.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container outside the home.
  • For optimum safety, wet the wood ashes prior to attaching the metal lid to the pail. DO NOT store your metal ash container on your deck, in your garage, or in any location that may allow heat to transfer from ashes to nearby structures or flammable items.
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home so that when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • If you have gas-fueled appliances, install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Practice your home fire escape drill.

For smoke alarm assistance Franklin residents may contact the Franklin Fire Department at (615) 791-3270.