The Troy Fire Department has responded to four residential house fires within the past two weeks. As the weather gets colder, TFD wants to remind residents of the threat of house fires during the winter season. The following are fire safety tips from TFD’s community outreach division:
- Have fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in. When using a fireplace, open the flue for adequate ventilation.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Only refuel kerosene heaters outdoors, and only once they are cooled.
- Fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than in any other room in the house. Never leave stovetop cooking unattended, and keep a working fire extinguisher near cooking appliances.
- Check dryer vents for build-up, and empty lint traps before each use.
- Keep an eye out for bad electrical wiring in the home. Burnt power outlets, frayed or ripped wires, or a burning smell around electrical switches are all red flags. Contact an electrician to test and replace faulty electrical wiring.
- Fix or replace extension cords, exposed wires, or loose plugs. Extension cords should not be used continually. Avoid overloading extension cords or outlets.
- Don’t cover electrical cords with rugs, don’t use them in high traffic areas, and don’t anchor electrical cords with nails.
- Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
- Buy electrical appliances and space heaters from a trusted source, and make sure new appliances have labels stating that they’ve been tested for safety. Look for a “UL” symbol, or other notes about testing.
- Store combustible materials in open areas away from heat sources.
- When using flammable household chemicals, store both the chemicals and any soaked materials appropriately. Oily rags should be stored in an empty metal container with a tight-fitting metal lid, such as an old paint can.
- Check fire detectors twice each year, and replace them every ten years.
- Have a fire escape plan. Determine at least two ways to escape from every room in your home, and plan an outdoor meeting place with your family. Once you are out of the home, stay out and call 911.
Troy firefighters are always here for our citizens and are more than happy to answer your fire safety questions! Please call or visit our web page here.