As the temperature outside remains dangerously cold. Residents are encouraged to stay indoors to keep safe and warm. But unsafe heating sources can cause dangers as well. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of all home-heating fires occur during the winter months. Cold temperatures are expected to continue through the week. Residents can go to the City libraries to get warm or contact 2-1-1 if they are in need of overnight shelter.
The Norwalk Fire Department and NFPA recommend some simple home heating safety tips, so residents can help keep our community safe and warm this winter.
* Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
* Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
* Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
* Inspect for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
* Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and other locations as required by laws, codes or standards.
* Never use an oven to heat your home.
* Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home so that when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
* Be sure your home has both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms, also known as dual sensor smoke alarms.
* Have your chimney inspected each year by a qualified professional and cleaned if necessary.
* Use a sturdy fireplace screen.
* Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container and keep them away from the house, decks or other flammable items.