OC Fire Department Encourages Fire Safety in Cooler Months - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

OC Fire Department Encourages Fire Safety in Cooler Months

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OCEAN CITY, Md.- As temperatures begin to cool, the Ocean City Fire Department would like to remind citizens and visitors to consider fire safety as they begin to utilize various heating sources in their homes.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. Usually, fires caused by heating appliances occur because the devices weren't cleaned regularly, were placed or installed too close to combustible materials, had design or operational flaws, or were fueled improperly.

Here are a few tips from the OCFD to help prevent a heating-related fire in your home:

1. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from all heating devices.

2. Have heating equipment, including chimneys and flues, cleaned and inspected at least annually by a professional.

3. Always use the right kind of fuel for your heating equipment, as specified by the manufacturer.

4. Fireplaces should always be screened during use to keep embers and sparks from igniting floor coverings within your home.

5. Do not use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.

6. Inspect electric heaters for damage, like frayed or worn cords, every year.

“Although good maintenance of equipment and safe, diligent use of heating equipment can help lessen the risk of a home fire, it cannot entirely prevent it,” commented Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley. “Working smoke alarms are vital in notification of a fire, allowing you and your family adequate time to escape. Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home (including the basement) and outside each sleeping area. It's a good idea, especially if you sleep with your doors closed, that a smoke alarm is also installed inside your bedroom. Alarms must be tested every month, and have their batteries replaced twice a year.”

In addition, listed CO detectors should be installed in a central location outside of all sleeping areas if your home contains any fuel burning equipment. Test CO alarms monthly and replace the batteries according to the manufacturers recommendations, which is typically twice a year.

For more winter safety tips, contact the Ocean City Fire Marshal's Office at 410.289.8780 or visit: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-249f.pdf.

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