With the arrival of cold weather and the holiday season, the Hot Springs Fire Department offers the following safety tips.
Fireplace/Wood Stove Space Heater Safety
- Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional.
- Have the furnace serviced and inspected annually.
- Use dry seasoned wood in the fireplace.
- Make sure the fireplace screen is in place when using the fireplace.
- Have covered metal container to dispose of cooled ashes. Store the container at least 10 feet away from the home or nearby buildings.
- Make sure to keep children and pets at least three feet away from the fireplace, woodstove, or other space heaters.
- Keep items that may catch fire a safe distance away from the fireplace or space heaters.
- When using portable space heaters, make sure they are plugged directly into an outlet. Do not plug them into an extension cord or power strip.
- Use portable heaters that have an automatic shut-off.
- Test smoke alarms regularly and replace batteries if needed.
- Test carbon monoxide detectors.
Holiday Fire Safety
- Choose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Make sure the tree is a safe distance away from any heat source.
- Make sure the tree does not block an exit.
- Keep the tree watered.
- Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Dispose of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should be not be left in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home. (Drop off trees at the 24/7 Recycling Drop-off Center, located at Valley and Runyon Street in Hot Springs. Drop-off dates continue into January.)
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang outside lights.
- Blow out lit candles when leaving the room or going to bed.