BRISTOL, TENN. - The Bristol Tennessee Fire Department is asking residents to remember the importance of practicing fire safety while attempting to keep warm.
Assistant Fire Chief Jack Spurgeon said, "Cold weather preparations include stocking up on household supplies as conditions may cause families to be homebound for a few days." Spurgeon reminds everyone that fresh batteries for smoke alarms and flashlights should also be on hand. Every family should have emergency supplies, as well as, an emergency plan for unexpected interruptions of daily routines.
Spurgeon suggests that a fully charged cell phone battery be maintained in case of a power outage and emergency calls must be made. Also, if you take any medication, be sure to have an emergency supply to last for a few days. The fire department also offers safety tips for preventing fires and fire related injuries during the winter season:
• Make sure space heaters are at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn
• Make sure kerosene heaters are cool to the touch before fueling
• Crack a window for fresh air flow to prevent carbon monoxide build up.
• Avoid over filling a kerosene heater.
• Refueling should be done outside the home
• Keep children away from space heaters.
• Do not leave candles unattended.
• If you use an electrical heater be sure to not overload the circuit.
• Never try to thaw frozen water pipes with a blow torch or other open flame
• Before going to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire to heat up again and will force toxic carbon monoxide into the house.
• Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
• If windows are used as emergency exits in your home, practice using them in the event fire should strike.