By Mac Hohenberger, Fire Chief, Denton County Emergency Services District #1
Happy New Year! As we enter the cold months of January and February, many of our citizens use space heaters and other heating equipment to warm up. However, the Denton County Emergency Services District would like to remind our community about the safe use of heating equipment.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January & February. Between 2012-2016, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 52,050 fires involving heating equipment each year. These fires resulted in annual losses of 490 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage.
Here are some tips to keep you safe:
- Give space heaters space! They account for 4 out of 5 home heating fire deaths.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
In November, the Denton County ESD #1 responded to 200 calls for service, with an average response time (dispatch to arrival) of 7:13 minutes. We would also like to recognize Johnny Williams on his recent achievement of testing and obtaining an emergency vehicle technician certification, allowing him to work on emergency vehicles.
For questions, please feel free to send me an email at [email protected]