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Home fire prevention as winter weather approaches N. Nevada

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 7:00 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - With temperatures beginning to cool down in Northern Nevada, more people will be warming up their homes. The Reno Fire Department (RFD) wants to make sure you’re prepared to help prevent your house from potentially going up in flames.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one in every seven reported home fires involves a heating appliance. Of that, one in every five results in death.

“It is unfortunately very common. we get a lot of home fires. we get a lot of activated carbon monoxide calls,” Willie Seirer, Fire Prevention Captain with RFD said.

Checking your heating equipment before using it can be the difference between life and death.

Seirer added, “If you haven’t had it looked at in a couple of years, it’s a good idea to have a professional come out, clean it, and make sure it’s all tuned up and ready to go.”

If you’re using a space heater, Seirer says keep anything that can burn at least three feet away, and make sure the device is plugged directly into an outlet, not a power strip or extension cord.

“Take the appliance and tip it about 45 degrees, you should feel it shut off, you’ll usually hear an audible click, if it doesn’t do that then it should be replaced with a modern unit with a tip-over switch,” Seirer said.

Fireplaces are another area that requires upkeep in order to warm your home safely.

Seirer added, “Have a qualified technician, a chimney sweep, clean your chimney before you start burning fires in it. do not burn any trash or any debris in there, just clean firewood.”

If any of these appliances are not operated correctly, carbon monoxide poisoning can occur. Seirer says an easy fix is to install your own CO detector.

“If we can help even one person understand the danger and avoid a fire or a burn, that’s a good thing,” Seirer said.

Fire officials say now is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detector as well.

For more information regarding heating safety, click here. For carbon monoxide safety tips, click here.

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