Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 7:49am
The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents that electrical fires are a special concern during the winter months, which call for more indoor activities and increased use of lighting, heating and appliances.
• Take special care with supplemental heating devices. Space heaters should not be used for extended periods or overnight. They are meant only to supplement your primary heating source.
• Turn space heaters off and unplug them when you leave the room. Maintain 3 feet of space around the space heater.
• Check all heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life.
• Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that kills more than 500 Americans every year. Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or near a window. Also, make sure you have installed a carbon monoxide detector in your home to alert you and your family to this "silent killer."
• Never thaw frozen pipes with a blow torch or other open flame. Use hot water or a device, like a hand-held dryer, evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Lori Wirth, 608-266-5947