PFPD December PSA
Contributed by: Pagosa Fire Protection District
Winter has arrived in Pagosa Country. Now is the time to be vigilant with your home heating procedures.
In home fires involving heating equipment, 40% are caused by space heaters. To prevent a fire, ensure space heaters have at least a three-foot radius clear of all flammable items (curtains, blankets, bedding, furniture). Never use a space heater with a worn or frayed power cord; plug space heaters in directly to a wall receptacle, never to a power strip. Safeguard the area by locating the space heater in an area where children and pets cannot knock it over.
Wood Fireplaces & Pellet Stoves
During the colder months, many people rely on wood or pellet stoves to stay warm. The leading contributing factor to home heating fires is failure to clean heating equipment, primarily chimneys. Only burn approved material (plain, untreated/unfinished wood or pellets) in your stove. Follow the same guidance as space heaters and clear the area of all flammable items.
Gas & Propane Heaters
Most residences have forced air heat powered by either natural gas or propane. These heating systems should be maintained yearly. Ensure the unit is free from dust accumulation, has adequate space free from items that could fall onto heater and has easy access in case of malfunction. Replace filters according to manufactures guidelines to maintain efficiency, provide clean air flow and reduce dangerous buildup of dust and debris.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Every level of your home should have a working carbon monoxide detector. Possible sources of CO include gas/propane kitchen range, gas/propane water heater, gas or wood fireplace, automobiles running in an attached garage. If your CO detector alarms, leave the building immediately shutting the door behind you and go outside to fresh air, call emergency services, do not re-enter the building.