The winter heating season is now upon us, and the number of home fires will increase. To keep warm and safe this heating season, the Yonkers Fire Prevention Division offers some tips and a checklist that provides Yonkers residents with practical fire safety advice.
- Have your home heating system, flues and chimneys inspected and cleaned for safe operation.
- Maintain a safe clearance between a portable electric heater and combustible material i.e. furniture, bedding, curtains and clothing.
- Turn off your portable or space heater before leaving the room.
- Make sure the wiring is adequate for electric space heaters and check for fraying, splitting wires, or overheating.
- Never use extension cords with electric heaters.
- Have all problems repaired by a professional before operating a heater.
- Select new heating equipment that bears the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
Portable Non-vented Kerosene Heaters are prohibited in ALL Multiple Residences, Public Assembly Areas and Commercial Properties.
The YFD recommends that Non-vented Kerosene Heaters NOT be used in ANY Type of Occupancy.
According to recent National Fire Prevention Association findings, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires, and the third leading cause of fire deaths in American homes. By following the checklist above you can greatly reduce your risk of experiencing a home heating fire.
Also, a malfunctioning or defective heating system can lead to the infiltration of carbon monoxide gas, the "silent killer," entering your home. Carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, and can result in unconsciousness and even death.
Remember to, always keep and maintain smoke detectors throughout the home. Basements, at the top of stairwells, at each landing, and outside each sleeping area are examples of important locations to place smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are your first defense against the ravages of fire.
When fire strikes a few minutes hesitation can mean the difference between life and death. All fire alarms should be taken seriously and demand fast responses. It is important for both children and adults to know and practice an escape plan from the home. Have a prearranged meeting place outside the home and phone 911 from a neighbor’s house.
For further information on fire prevention and other safety tips, please phone the Yonkers Fire Prevention Division at 914-377-7525 for assistance.