House fires could abound during cold temps | Families
With two weeks until Christmas, Oklahomans are now feeling the frigid temperatures of December. Officials with the Oklahoma Insurance Commission say the colder weather could have you cranking up the heater, which puts you at a greater risk for a house fire.
Proper maintenance for your heating system is the best way to make sure your home is ready for the winter weather.
Last year, insurance companies paid out over $90 million in claims for fire-related damages.
The Oklahoma City Fire Department has a few tips to help protect your family and your property as you turn up the heat.
- Keep flammable objects away from furnaces, fireplaces and other heating units.
- Clean or replace the furnace filter and clean entire furnace area to remove debris.
- Have heating units inspected by a licensed contractor.
- Clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Before going to bed at night, check that fires are completely out and space heaters have proper ventilation.
- Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, get one.
- Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
- Never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device. Not only is it a safety hazard, it can be a source of potentially toxic fumes.
- If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry the amp load. TIP: Choose an extension cord the same size or larger than the appliance electrical cord.
Many fire department offer free smoke detectors, batteries and installation to residents who ask.