In the interest of home fire safety, the Grand Forks Fire Department DOES NOT encourage or recommend the use of portable electric or kerosene heaters. However, if a portable heater is used, please take the following precautions.
Keep all portable heaters 5 feet from combustible materials, (i.e. furniture, bedding, and clothes).
Check for frayed cords.
Check heaters for a safety shut-off device. Heaters must have this device.
Use the correct fuel.
Do not overfill.
When refueling, always turn off the heater and let it cool completely. Only refuel the heater outside.
Store kerosene in a vented metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
Never store kerosene or other flammable liquids near heat sources or in your home.
Do not operate when you are sleeping or if you leave the home.
Install UL-approved smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
WINTER FIRE SAFETY
To prevent fires, the Fire Department encourages residents to:
Install smoke detectors on each level of their home and outside of sleeping areas.
Have an evacuation plan and make sure all family members know it.
Keep cigarettes, lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children.
Never smoke in bed.
Use large ashtrays and douse butts and ashes with water before discarding them.
Never overload circuits or utilize more than one appliance in an electrical outlet.
Don't block exits or stairs.
Annually clean chimney and use fire-proof glass doors for fireplaces.
Never use security gates or bars.
Never store gas-powered tools inside the home (i.e. lawnmower, chainsaw, and other equipment that uses a flammable liquid).
Sleep with bedroom door closed. This will slow the lethal spread of any smoke and fire.
If a fire should occur, take the following steps:
Test doors with back of hand before opening.
Use windows as an alternative escape route.
Stuff clothing materials at bottom of doors if you are trapped, and hang a sheet or blanket outside of windows.
Crawl low under smoke.
Have a predetermined meeting spot, outside of your house, such as a neighbors' home.
In a high-rise fire, ever use elevators. Use stairs only.
Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning home.