Big Bear Valley, Winter weather arrived late this year. Everyone needs to warm their homes and
businesses. When not functioning
appliances can start a fire or produce carbon monoxide, a deadly gas.
following tips can help you stay warm while remaining safe during the coming
a professional check and service your heating system each year. This not only helps to prevent hazardous
situations from occurring, but also maintains the efficiency of your
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.
Adult supervision should always be maintained while space heaters are in
use. Never leave a portable heater on
Fireplaces, and Fireplace Inserts:
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 to prevent fire and airborne
embers from escaping. Never leave a fire
unattended, always extinguish the flames before leaving the house or going to
sleep. Have wood-burning stoves or
fireplaces inspected and cleaned by a professional on an annual basis.
Disposal of Ashes:
dispose of ashes
into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Never put ashes in paper bags of 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.
Other Safety Tips:
and hibachis should never be used indoors.
Charcoal gives off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide that are normally
dissipated into the outdoors air.
Kerosene heaters can also produce these deadly gases and are prohibited
from use in the home. Never use an oven
to heat your home; it can deplete the oxygen level.
keep combustibles away from heat
sources. Check the manufacturer’s
specifications for clearance distances.
Teach children to stay away from heating appliances.
a family home fire escape plan for
the unfortunate event of a fire. Know two ways out of every room. Establish a safe meeting place outside of the
home. Remember to contact 9-1-1 to
report the fire once safety has been reached.
Once out, never go back inside.
and regularly maintain smoke detectors
in the home, providing coverage of sleeping areas and each level of the
home. Test smoke detectors on a monthly
basis and change the batteries twice a year when the time changes in the Fall
monoxide detectors should also be placed in the home, near sleeping areas, and
at the home’s conventional heating source.
For proper operation, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be
installed and maintained per manufacturer’s instructions. Never
borrow batteries from detectors.
the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, including flu-like symptoms in its’
poisoning victims. The
symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to other illnesses. Severe headaches, dizziness, mental
confusion, nausea, and/or faintness can all be experienced with moderate
exposure. Death may occur if the victim
remains in this atmosphere for a prolonged period of time. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected,
get fresh air immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
providing regular maintenance to heating appliances and ensuring that they are
being used in a safe and proper manner, fire/life safety hazards can be greatly
reduced. For additional information on this or other fire/life safety topics,
contact the Big
Bear Fire Department at 909-866-7566 or visit our website at: www.bigbearfire.org