As we head into the cold winter months, many people turn to alternative means of heating their homes. Montgomery county had seen an increase in house fires during the latest cold snap and many of these fires have common causes and could have been prevented. These fires had cost home owners millions of dollars in damages and displaced hundreds of residents. We know these important tips may sounds like common sense, but keep the following in mind to avoid becoming homeless in these cold months.
- Allow fire place ashes to cool in the fire place for several days before placing them in a METAL container, wetting them down with water, and placing them outside away from structures, decks, fences, wood piles and other combustible materials.
- Do not use lighter fluid or other propellants to start a fire indoors.
- Make sure you clean your chimney and inspect it once a year.
- Give space heaters room and do not dry anything on them. Do not use space heaters while you are not home.
- Do not overload electrical outlets and circuits.
- Be sure to clean your dryer vents and exhaust ducts periodically and do not put oil or gasoline soaked rags or clothing into the dryer.