(MIAMI, January 3, 2018) – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) would like to remind residents and visitors that staying warm is important, but knowing how to do it safely can prevent tragic accidents that can lead to serious injuries or loss of life.
Cold temperatures are expected this week as the first cold front of the year is coming to South Florida. As temperatures drop into the 40s, residents may be forced to look for ways to keep warm by using heating equipment. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (33%) of home-heating fires and four out of five (81%) of home-heating fire deaths. Here are more tips provided by NFPA:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly