MEDFORD, Ore. -- As winter conditions continue, more Oregonians are firing up their chimneys and pulling out their portable space heaters to keep warm. But before using these items, firefighters withe Medford Fire-Rescue say there are a few safety tips to keep in mind this winter season to prevent potential home fires.
Portable heaters are responsible annually for an average of 62,200 fires, 670 deaths, and 1,550 civilian injuries, and $909 million in property damage.
Portable heater safety recommendations by Medford Fire Rescue Include:
- Keep heaters a minimum of 36" away from combustibles
- Plug directly into wall outlet. Don't use an extension cord or power strip.
- Use only heaters with built-in high temperature and tip-over shutoff features
- Do not use un-vented fuel fired heaters in-doors
- Do not hang combustible items to dry over a heater
- Turn off portable heaters when family members are sleeping or leave the house
- Keep heaters out of high traffic areas and exit paths
Fireplace/Chimney/Flue Safety Recommendations by Medford Fire Rescue Include:
- Have your fireplace or wood stove inspected at least annually for deficiencies and creosote buildup. Repair and clean as necessary
- For wood-burning purposes, choose only well-seasoned wood
- Never burn paper or trash in your fireplace
- Use a fireplace screen
- Keep furniture and other combustible items a minimum 36" away from the hearth
- Never leave the fire unattended
- Dispose of ashes in a metal container and place the container outside
- Install a carbon monoxide (CO)detector