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JCFD issues winter safety reminders as mid-Missouri enters cold months

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The Jefferson City Fire Department published an advisory reminding residents about the proper use of supplemental heating devices as below-freezing temperatures make their way into mid-Missouri.

High temperatures are expected to range from the upper 20s to low 30s Monday and Tuesday, with overnight lows both nights in the low to mid-teens, according to the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team.

"Space heaters are responsible for 1/3 of home fires and about 80% of home heating fire deaths," said a release from the department. "Heating devices cause fires each year across the nation, resulting in numerous injuries and possible death."

The department recommends the following tips for owners of any supplemental heating sources:

  • Keep all combustible materials, including yourself at least 3 feet from the heater,
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms throughout the home,
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater,
  • Open face heaters should have a screen and a tip switch,
  • Provide ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning,
  • Recommend that all supplemental heating devices be UL approved.

The department recommends the following tips for owners of vented gas appliances, fired heating appliances, central heating units, floor furnaces, recessed wall heaters and vented space heaters:

  • Inspect annually by a qualified service technician. Don't wait for cold weather.
  • Do not use these type units without a proper vent pipe. Vent pipes must exhaust to the outside!
  • Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for proper usage.

The department recommends the following tips for owners of electric heaters:

  • Never overload outlets or breakers
  • Don't use extension cords for the heater. If the cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it!
  • Electric heaters permanently installed in the wall or ceiling should have lint and dust removed regularly. Lint and dust will burn.

JCFD crews responded to a house fire shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of Benton Street. One day later, crews responded to another house fire near the corner of East Capitol Avenue and Riverside Drive just before 12:30 a.m.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of both incidents.

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Joe McLean

Joe reports stories all across mid-Missouri, including our WasteBusters series of reports, and co-anchors ABC 17 News at 9 a.m. with Zara Barker.


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