Safe Winter Heating
Big Bear Lake,
The Big Bear
Fire Department has some Hot Tips for Cold Weather to ensure safe
winter heating. With the change in seasons in Big Bear Valley comes the need to
warm our homes and businesses. Stay warm and safe during Winter months by
following some simple tips.
Heating: Have a professional check and service your heating system each
year. Always keep combustibles away from heat sources. Check the
manufacturer’s specifications for clearance distances.
Portable Heaters: Purchase only
those heaters bearing the seal of Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Factory Mutual
(FM) or another nationally recognized testing laboratory. Always use heating
appliances according to manufacturer’s specifications. Make sure electric cords
are in good condition. Never leave a portable heater on when unattended and
never use an oven to heat your home; it can introduce poisonous carbon monoxide
within your home.
Wood-Burning Stoves, Fireplaces, and Fireplace Inserts: Burn only
dry, well-seasoned wood. Make sure the damper is open prior to lighting.
Never use flammable liquids or excessive amounts of paper to start or
accelerate a fire. Keep a metal or glass screen in front of fireplace or stove
openings and never leave a fire unattended. Have wood-burning stoves or
fireplaces inspected and cleaned by a professional on an annual basis.
Smoke Detectors: Install
and regularly maintain smoke detectors in the home per manufacturer’s
instructions. Smoke detectors should provide coverage of sleeping areas and
each level of the home. Test smoke detectors on a monthly basis and change the
batteries twice a year. A good reminder is to do it when the time changes in Fall
Disposal of Ashes: Always
dispose of ashes by placing them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
Never put ashes in paper bags or cardboard boxes. Ashes can retain heat, making
them capable of igniting a fire for several days. Ashes should be thoroughly
soaked to ensure they are extinguished. If ashes are disposed of at a public
dumpsite, do not put them in the trash receptacle, but in the dumpster marked
for ashes only.
Carbon Monoxide Safety: Know the
symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless
gas, producing flu-like symptoms in its victims. Symptoms include severe
headaches, dizziness, mental confusion, nausea and faintness. If carbon
monoxide poisoning is suspected, get fresh air immediately and seek medical
attention as soon as possible. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed
in the home, near sleeping areas, and at the home’s conventional heating
source. For proper operation, detectors should be installed and maintained per
In the unfortunate
event of a fire, have an established family home escape plan.
Know two ways out of
Establish a safe
meeting place outside of the home.
After safety has
been reached call 9-1-1 to report the fire.
Once out, never go
For additional information on this or other fire and life safety
topics, contact Big Bear Fire Department at www.bigbearfire.org or (909)