With winter knocking at the door in Jackson Hole, certain preparations should be made to ensure fire safety at home. Jackson/Teton County Fire Marshal Kathy Clay says those preparations should start with inspecting the home’s heating units whether or not they are fuel burning.
“Service the heaters in your house annually. That will keep the things running better, and make sure if you are using a fuel-burning appliance, woodstove, gas heater, anything that burns fuel – you want to make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you in case something isn’t running properly,” Clay said.
Smoke alarms throughout the house should be tested and replaced as needed. Smoke alarms have a 10-year life expectancy. Clay says make sure the family has a plan to escape the house and meet outside in the event of fire. “You should have two ways; in case your one way is blocked, you have another option. And if you are on the second floor, or even on the first, and there’s a fast fire you can’t get out of your house with, close your door. Science has proven that by closing our door creates a safe space; and firefighters here are trained to be able to make entry to retrieve you from the window instead of going through the big fire that might be inside your house,” she said.
Clay also points out that it is unsafe to run a portable heater off an extension cord. When using an extension cord, make sure it is UL approved, and never run extension cords under carpets or furniture. Also, be sure they are rated to carry the load required to power whatever appliance they are serving.