Fire officials offer heat safety tips as cold months approach
BETHANY BEACH, Del. – “A fire doubles in growth every 30 seconds so if you take that into consideration, a very small fire in a matter of minutes can engulf an entire house,” said Assistant Chief for the Bethany Beach Fire Department Phil Brackin.
Brackin says even though the busy summer season has come and gone, the fall and winter months are often the busiest times of the year for the company and surrounding fire departments.
“Our biggest concern in the winter months is always carbon monoxide, especially if you have any gas appliances you should always have a carbon monoxide detector in your house, you should check the detector to make sure it’s working properly,” he said.
Brackin says during these colder months heating devices are one of the leading causes of home fires. But he says these fires can be prevented if you take extra safety precautions.
“We tell people not to put space heaters in the area of any curtains or loose debris or trash can,” said Brackin.
With the colder weather rolling in fire officials say it’s important to do a routine maintenance check of your home including making sure your chimney is clean and clear and your gas and other heating appliances are working properly to prevent these types of tragedies.
“Check your space heaters, making sure that they are in a well ventilated area that you make sure that they are working properly and maintained properly. If you have a furnace make sure that that’s serviced properly. If you have a chimney, have that serviced and cleaned once in a while,” said Brackin.
Brackin adds that on top of these preventative measures, you should be checking your smoke detectors every month. As well as making sure your family has an escape plan in place if an emergency situation were to happen. He adds that Fire Prevention Month is the perfect time to start the fire safety discussion with you family. He says you can show your family how to replace the alarms or batteries for the alarms in you house. While also testing the alarms together to show them what the alarm sounds like.