When temperatures go below freezing, the chance of fires increases or other accidents associated with cold weather. Here are a few safety tips for very cold and freezing weather:
Keep anything that can burn, such as clothing, furniture, mattresses, paper products and the like, at least three feet away from any heat sources such as furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces, stoves and water heaters.
During long periods of very cold weather, there is usually an increase in the use of space heaters. Space heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. Do not use extension cords with electric space heaters. Extension cords can overheat and the heat from the extension cord can start combustible items on fire. Electric space heaters should be unplugged when not in use and if you leave the home. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from the space heater. Keep the space heater at least three feet from furniture and bedding. Do not operate the space heater when you sleep at night. Shut off the space heater when you leave the room. Space heaters should be used for a limited amount of time. Keep children away from space heaters.
If you are using a fireplace or stove that burns wood, discard the ashes properly by placing them in a bucket of water and letting them soak for a few hours before putting them in the trash. Ashes can retain heat for several days and have caused damage to homes because they were discarded in the trash.
With freezing temperatures, water pipes may freeze. If a pipe freezes, do not use a torch or any type of flame to thaw the pipe. The sudden increase in temperature will cause the ice to expand quickly and explode.
Barbecues should not be used as heating devices, but they have been found in a number of Las Vegas homes in the past. Although they give off heat, they also produce lethal amounts of carbon monoxide gas that can overcome occupants inside a building with no warning.
Have furnaces checked by a qualified technician and change the air filters to the furnace once every 30 days. If they clog with dirt and dust, the furnace will pull fresh air down the chimney, which is also full of carbon monoxide gas, which is deadly.
Do not let you car run in the garage to heat up. After you start the car, make sure the garage door is open and move the car out as soon as you can. Even with the garage door open, lethal levels of carbon monoxide from the exhaust pipe can seep into the home.
Never run an electric generator or other fossil fuel appliance in the home, including the garage. These devices produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.
Be aware of any moisture on the roadways, especially at night. Water from lawn sprinklers on the road at night can freeze, causing the roadway or sidewalks to be icy. Remember that bridges and underpasses freeze faster than regular road surfaces. Even the smallest amount of moisture can cause the road surface to be hazardous.
Most important, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are a must. With an increase of the use of heating devices, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are your first line of defense against fire/smoke and deadly carbon monoxide. They save lives everyday.
Return to News Release Index