TYLER. Texas (KETK) – A rash of fires over the past week in residential structures have Tyler firefighters urging residents to take precautions as cold weather settles in.
Tyler firefighters have responded to eight separate fires in residential structures, caused by heating appliances, electrical wiring issues, and fireplace/chimney maintenance.
Five of these incidents occurred on Thursday and Friday, with at least three of these believed to be related to home heating and heating appliances.
According to the United States Fire Administration, heating is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States.
To help lower the risk of such incidents, the Tyler Fire Department urges homeowners and residents to take the following precautionary measures:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, or portable heaters.
- Have your furnace and/or chimney inspected by a professional each year.Plug only one heat-producing appliance into an electrical outlet, and never use an extension cord for these types of appliances, including portable heaters.
- Make sure any portable heaters have an automatic shut-off switch, which turns it off if tipped over.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
“Fire prevention is important, so make sure that you and your home are protected,” said Paul Findley, public information officer for the Tyler Fire Marshal’s office. “In addition to a well-planned and practiced home escape plan, citizens should ensure that working smoke alarms are located on every level of the home, including inside and outside of sleeping areas. These smoke alarms should be tested each month to ensure that they remain operable.”
TFD urges residents to coordinate the change of clocks this weekend with changing replaceable batteries in all home smoke alarms.
Those who do not have smoke alarms or who wish more information on fire/life safety and other risk reduction suggestions can call the Tyler Fire Department at 903-535-0005.