ALTERNATIVE HEAT SOURCESIn 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 SAFETYTo 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.
SURVIVAL SAFETYIf 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.