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Winter Fire Safety

As winter conditions continue, more Oregonians are firing up their chimneys and pulling out their portable space heaters to keep warm.

Posted: Dec. 4, 2017 10:44 AM
Updated: Dec. 4, 2017 10:48 AM

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. 

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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:

  1. Keep heaters a minimum of 36" away from combustibles
  2. Plug directly into wall outlet. Don't use an extension cord or power strip. 
  3. Use only heaters with built-in high temperature and tip-over shutoff features
  4. Do not use un-vented fuel fired heaters in-doors
  5. Do not hang combustible items to dry over a heater
  6. Turn off portable heaters when family members are sleeping or leave the house
  7. Keep heaters out of high traffic areas and exit paths
Fireplace/Flue fires are responsible for an average of 25,000 home fires, 20-50 deaths, 90 civilian injuries and $126 million in property damages nationwide. 

Fireplace/Chimney/Flue Safety Recommendations by Medford Fire Rescue Include:

  1. Have your fireplace or wood stove inspected at least annually for deficiencies and creosote buildup. Repair and clean as necessary 
  2. For wood-burning purposes, choose only well-seasoned wood
  3. Never burn paper or trash in your fireplace
  4. Use a fireplace screen
  5. Keep furniture and other combustible items a minimum 36" away from the hearth
  6. Never leave the fire unattended
  7. Dispose of ashes in a metal container and place the container outside
  8. Install a carbon monoxide (CO)detector

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