Safe Heating is Critical in the Months Ahead

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OKC Fire officials say it's been a rough year for fire fatalities.

Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) reminds residents as the temperatures drop, it is important to safely heat your home or business.

Oklahoma City Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson said, "It's been a rough year for us with 19 fire fatalities this year. All but one of those had one common threat: no working smoke alarms."

OKC has already had two space heater fires and a fireplace fire within the past two months, and it's not even cold yet.

The basic rules of safe heating:

Space heaters need space. Keep them three feet away from anything that can burn and turn them off when leaving the room or going to bed.

Fireplaces need to be cleaned. Inspect and clean fireplaces by a qualified specialist. Creosote, a waxy and flammable substance, builds up on the interior of the fireplace.

Fireplaces need a screen. This will prevent embers from flying out of the fireplace and into the living area of the home. Keep things that could burn at least three feet away.

Gas cooking stoves should never be used to heat a living space. Any heater or cooking equipment designed to be used outside should never be used inside because of the threat of both fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness & Dizziness
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred Vision
  • Over the past year, the Oklahoma City Fire Department has established a phone number available in English and in Spanish: 405-316-BEEP (2337) to obtain free smoke alarms. The public can also go online at www.SmokeAlarmsOKC.com and www.GratisAlarmasOKC.com

    One other recommendation is to maintain a home survival kit that includes a battery-operated radio, flashlights, extra batteries, bottled water, canned food, a manual can opener, blankets and a first aid kit.

    Useful links:
    https://www.ready.gov/power-outages
    https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather