The City of Dickinson Fire Department would like to remind everyone of Fire Safety during Cold Weather. The risk of home fires is higher during this time of year, but simple steps can help protect your family and friends.
Indoor Fire Safety
- Put candles securely in non-tip candle holders that will collect the dripping wax.
- Keep candles well away from Christmas trees, decorations, curtains and other combustibles and never put candles in windows or near exits.
- Don’t leave candles burning unattended or within the reach of small children, and blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Make sure smoke alarms are operational and practice your fire escape plan.
- Have a professional chimney sweep inspect chimneys annually for cracks, blockages and leaks and have them cleaned and repaired as needed.
- Keep fireplace fires small, and use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room.
- Don't leave children alone in a room with a fireplace fire.
- Burn only dry seasoned wood to avoid the build-up of creosote, and oily deposit that easily catches fire and accounts for most chimney fires.
- Purchase electric space heaters that bear the mark of an independent testing laboratory such as UL, ETL, CSA, etc.
- Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn – people, pets, newspapers, furniture, window coverings and even walls.
- Plug your electric-powered space heater directly into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
- Turn off space heaters before leaving a room or going to sleep.
Additional Safety Tips
Outdoor Fire Safety
- Have a professional tree cutting service trim branches around electrical wiring
- Use a wooden ladder if working near powerlines. Keep ladder at least 10 feet away from powerlines to avoid arching.
- Report downed wires to authorities right away
- Never touch anyone or anything that is in contact with a downed line.
Home Electrical Safety
- Store Electrical tools indoors and away from children
- Keep the area around your electric meter and other electrical equiptment clear
- Check lighting and extension cords for damage before using
- Extension Cords are not for longterm use.
Sewer Gas Safety
What is sewer gas?
Sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and non-toxic gases which collect in the sewage system at varying levels depending on the source. Sewer gases are a concern due to their odor, health effects and potential for creating fire or explosions. Sewer gas can enter a home through a floor drain if the street vents are blocked or the drain is clogged, from a leaking or blocked roof vent pipe, or through cracks in foundations if the gases are in soil adjacent to the house.
- What should I do if I suspect a problem?
Try to follow the odor to locate the point of entry, such as a basement floor drain or a blocked vent pipe on the roof. By adding water to the floor drain or removing debris from a roof vent pipe or city street vent, you may be able to prevent sewer gas from entering your home.
In the unlikely event that a leak is occurring in the sewer plumbing behind a wall, a plumber may be needed to find and fix it. Some local public health departments may be able to offer home inspections to help with finding the source of the problem.
The North Dakota Department of Health has provided a Sewer Gas Guide that contains further information.
NDSU provided the following article for further information "Now is Time to Protect Sewer Vents From Freezing"
- What is a CO Leak?
Carbon monoxide (CO) “The Silent Killer” is a colorless, odorless and deadly gas. Because you can't see, taste or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it's there. At lower levels of exposure, carbon monoxide may cause numerous health problems. The NFPA has provided a Carbon Monoxide Safety Sheet as well as a Step-By-Step safety packet on Getting to Know Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm.
When Traveling In Extreme Weather Conditions
- Check the weather before you go.
- Check your vehicle (avoid planning trips when the "Check Engine" light is on)
- Have a "Vehicle Emergency Kit" prepared and stored in a dry-easy accessible location.