As the temperature drops, the number of residential fires rises. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department advises following precautions:
- Have a qualified serviceman inspect your furnace and change the filter.
- If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure it’s clean and inspected by a qualified chimney sweep.
- Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood. Never burn trash in your fireplace, and never use gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid or other fuel to light a fire.
- When using your fireplace, make sure the opening is covered with an approved metal screen or glass doors. Never leave a fire unattended.
- When using space heaters, make sure there is a minimum of 36 inches of clearance on all sides of the heater.
- If you burn candles, never leave them unattended. Don’t use candles in the bedroom, where you may fall asleep. Always use a sturdy candleholder and keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable.
- Make sure there are operating smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home. Your family should have and practice a home fire escape plan.
For more tips log onto www.sbfire.com.