Get fire-safe this win­ter

Stanthorpe Border Post - - LIFE -

SIT­TING by a wood-fire heater may be a rite of pas­sage for Gran­ite Belt lo­cals, but the last thing any­one wants is to see their home up in flames.

If any­one knows how to make your home safe this win­ter, it’s Stan­thorpe fire sta­tion of­fi­cer in charge Cap­tain Ian Bar­den, who has shared the best ways to keep your home fire-safe.

“The first thing is to make sure the smoke alarms are work­ing,” Cpt Bar­den said.

“Make sure the bat­ter­ies are work­ing, give it a test and make sure the grilles are all clean and the smoke alarm is within the 10-year pe­riod.”

If you’re go­ing to use a wood-fire heater there are some other im­por­tant steps to take.

“Be­cause peo­ple have got wood heaters, they should make sure they have their chim­ney cleaned out in the off-sea­son so that now it’s all clean and ready to go, so they’re not at risk of any chim­ney fires,” Cpt Bar­den said.

“We usu­ally get our chim­ney fires be­cause peo­ple get a bit com­pla­cent, peo­ple think they cleaned it out last year, it couldn’t get that dirty in a sea­son.

“Be sure if you’re go­ing to dry your clothes in front of a heater to have them at least a me­tre away, be­cause any­thing within a me­tre could catch ra­di­ated heat and ac­tu­ally catch wash­ing on fire.”

He said elec­tric blan­kets also needed spe­cial care.

“Make sure the cords are in good or­der. If they’re in any way shape or form frayed, cut them off and put them in the bin. Don’t take any risks.”

Cpt Bar­den said any house­holds that didn’t al­ready have an elec­tron­ics safety switch should get one in­stalled to help pre­vent elec­tri­cal fires.

“It only takes a sec­ond for a se­ri­ous fire to start. If you don’t have smoke alarms and ev­ery­thing pre­pared, it can de­stroy your house pretty quick,” he said.

In an emer­gency, make sure ev­ery­one has evac­u­ated the home be­fore di­alling 000.

PHOTO: FILE

FIRE SAFETY: Even though we are com­ing into win­ter, fire­fight­ers Shane Cartwright and Ian Bar­den are ug­ing peo­ple to re­main fire-safety con­scious.

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