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Cold Temeratures Bring Higher Fire Risks

November 22, 2013 Jackson Hole, State of Wyoming, Teton County No Comments
space heater fire

The weather forecast for the next few says speaks of very cold temperatures – possibly sub-zero at times.  Teton County Fire Marshal Kathy Clay says there are national trends for fire incidents and fire fatalities linked to such drops in temperature.  Many she says are linked to the use of auxiliary heating appliances.  Clay says homeowners want to make sure not to overload electrical systems with extra space heaters and so forth – especially if they are attached with an extension cord.  She says, “It’s really easy to overheat that extension cord and start a fire from that, as well as if they do use any kind of extra heaters, make sure that they’re far enough away from combustibles.” Clay adds that wood stoves that will be burning for any length of time can heat the flues to the point creosote that hasn’t been properly cleaned yet can ignite and cause a chimney fire.  Clay advises against the use of fuel-burning space heaters within a structure, but if they are to be used to heat a basement or garage, she says be sure they are adequately ventilated.  Clay cautions, “You want to be mindful that there will be some carbon monoxide that comes off that fuel-burning appliance, and if it’s not ventilated it could be a very dangerous, lethal condition.”  Additionally, she says if water pipes are to be kept from freezing with heat tape, be sure the tape is properly installed according to manufacturer’s directions.

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