Cold temperatures mixed with rain and precipitation combine to make any trip treacherous, and while the alternative of staying home is markedly safer, there are still some dangers at home that should be carefully avoided, according to Murphy Fire Marshal Perry Elliott.
"Should there be a power outage or failure due to ice on the power lines, or if the furnace quits working, or if it just doesn’t produce enough heat, we immediately react by adding supplemental heat with electric space heaters, fireplaces and other types of room heaters.
That’s when the greatest attention should be placed on the dangers associated with these devices," he said.
If the plan includes the use of a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, extreme care is warranted. Following the manufacturer’s instructions closely is essential.
Here are some safety tips:
Use of fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters should occur only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
Paper must never be burned in a fireplace.
Adequate ventilation is necessary when using a kerosene heater.
Only the exact type of fuel the heater is designed for should be used, no substitutions.
Space heaters should not be placed within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding, and space heaters must never be covered.
Space heaters should never be placed on top of furniture or near water.
Children should never remain unattended near a space heater.
Cords of electric space heaters should not present a tripping hazard, nor placed under carpets or rugs.
Extension cords should not be used to plug in space heaters.
If the space heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, it should not be used.
A multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher should be placed near the area to be heated.
A battery-operated CO detector can protect residents from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices should never be used indoors.
"Being extra careful with space heaters, especially with small children or elderly in the house, is absolutely essential. Even a slight distraction or inattention can result in serious consequences. We urge extreme care when using any heating device or element inside the home," he said.
ABOUT MURPHY -- Murphy is a fast-growing community located in Collin County. The population is approximately 18,020, generally characterized as highly educated with a median household income above the state average. With more than 70 percent of the land developed, the community is dominated by single-family residences. Determined to maintain a country living ambiance, city planners strive to preserve that feel while still exhibiting an aggressive economic development stance. The centrally-located municipal complex includes four buildings that house Fire, Police, City Administration and Public Works. Money Magazine has dubbed Murphy as the 27th Best Place to Live in America for small cities.