Fire Marshal encourages citizens to stay warm, safe


HARRIS COUNTY – With temperatures across Harris County expected to fall below freezing this weekend, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office encourages residents to practice heating safety. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths but can be prevented by following a few fire safety precautions.

“Space heaters can be dangerous if not used properly,” said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. “With winter weather approaching Harris County, we encourage everyone to properly use space heaters and other home heating equipment. Keeping anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment is vital to keeping your family fire-safe and warm during this winter weather event.”

The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office encourages residents to follow these heating safety tips:

  • Place space heaters on solid, flat surfaces. Also, make sure your space heater has an automatic shut off in case it tips over.
  • Check space heaters for cracked or damaged cords and plugs.
  • Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets, don’t use an extension cord or power strip.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Create a “kid free zone” three feet from 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.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly.

January is one of the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the most common cause of home heating equipment fires. Along with practicing home heating safety, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office recommends testing your smoke alarms monthly and creating and practicing a home fire escape plan.

The mission of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is to safeguard the lives and property of the residents in Harris County through effective fire prevention, fire investigation, education, emergency response, and emergency management.

Download this PDF to learn more Heating_Safety.01

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