South Florida is bracing for more cold weather and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department reminds residents to take the time to prepare for the drop in temperatures.
Follow the "Four Ps"
- Protect People: Pay careful attention to children and the elderly. They are especially vulnerable to cold and the least able to protect themselves. Dress in layers of loose-fitting warm clothing and consider wearing a hat that covers your ears when you are outdoors.
- Protect Plants: Bring potted plants indoors. Keep outdoor plants and trees watered. Dry weather and wind create the perfect conditions for brush fires. If you live in or near heavily forested or undeveloped land, keep your property well manicured and free of dry or dead vegetation.
- Protect Pets: Bring all pets indoors. Pets that must be left outside should have an enclosed shelter with the entrance facing away from the wind.
- Protection against fires in the home: This one of the most important winter considerations. Take the time to prepare and inspect heating equipment before using. According to the National Fire Protection Association, incorrect use of heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires.
- Choose electric space heaters and use only those that are UL approved. Look for models that include safety features such as, an automatic shut-off when tipped over.
- Avoid the use of extension cords with space heaters, but if you must use one, make sure it is the proper size and length. Never run cords under rugs or carpets
- Keep your heater at least three feet away from furniture, curtains and other flammable items.
- Install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries regularly.
- Never use charcoal or other fuel-burning devices indoors, such as grills that produce carbon monoxide.
- Make sure all equipment is clean and dust free.
- Keep a close eye on children and pets whenever a space heater is being used.
During periods of cold weather, MDFR experiences an increase in house fire calls from residents reporting smoke emitting from their central heating units. This is usually caused by dust particles that collect on the system's heating coils. MDFR recommends residents open all windows and run their systems prior to the arrival of a cold front. This will ensure proper home ventilation in the event this occurs. Always turn off heaters when leaving home.Back to Top Page Last Edited: Fri Jan 6, 2012 9:25:02 AM
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