Oskaloosa Fire Shares Tips To Help Stay Safe This Winter

by Ken Allsup
November 9, 2022

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The winter months in Iowa can provide beauty but can come with hazards from the cold.

There are some hazards to staying warm in your home, such as space heaters and extension cords that may become overloaded.

The Oskaloosa Fire Department wants you to be safe at home this winter and sat down with Oskaloosa News to talk about some of those safety concerns and what you can do to help protect yourself, your family, and your home.

Oskaloosa Fire Chief Scott Vaughan says, “check those smoke detectors. Make sure they’re working. If you think they need batteries, make sure you change them.”

If you need help changing the batteries in your smoke detector or need help installing one, Vaughan encourages you to call them at the Oskaloosa Fire Department, and they will be happy to help you.

As the holiday season goes along, Christmas decorations will be going up, and Vaughan says that if you have a real tree, keep it watered with a good water supply.

Vaughan says that if the real tree is near a register vent or air blowing towards it, the tree may dry out quicker, and the drier a real tree, the more potential there is for fire and may help the flames spread even faster.

Things like candles need to be extinguished if you leave them alone. “If you leave, blow the candles out,” Vaughan said.

Space heaters are another item that causes many fires in the home, and Vaughan says not to run cords under rugs. He prefers that the heater be plugged directly into the wall to prevent overheating extension cords and to leave 3 feet of clearance around the heater. Make sure that all heater cords and strings of lights are in good working condition and that there are no exposed wiring or damaged plugs.

When it comes to wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, ensure those chimneys are cleaned and that there is the proper clearance from combustibles.

Something that often needs to be addressed, ensuring the ash from the wood-burning stove or fireplace is no longer hot. Vaughan explained that he has witnessed fires getting started when people dump the ashes outside, with coals within the ash sometimes remaining hot for up to 3 days after you take them out of the wood burner.

If you have any questions or concerns, Vaughan encourages you to reach out to the Oskaloosa Fire Department at 641.673.3541.

Posted by on Nov 9 2022. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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