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Apr 24, 2018







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Safety first
Winter the busiest time of year for home fires

01/08/15



The use of heating appliances makes winter the busiest time of year for home fires, Manchester Deputy Fire Marshal Mitch Cady said, so while it may seem as though there have been a lot of fires reported in the news lately — including one on Log Street in Manchester recently that displaced dozens of people — this winter is no worse than usual.

“There hasn’t been any abnormal spikes in fires, in Manchester anyway. We’ve been on par,” Manchester Fire Marshal Peter Lennon said. “We’re having an average year for fires in the City of Manchester.”
From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the most common time for winter fires to occur, Lennon said, and 67 percent of winter fires occur in one- or two-family homes. Lennon said 905 people die in winter fires every year, nationally.
“Fortunately we have not had a spike over our usual statistics,” Concord Fire Marshal Sean Brown said.
Brown said a recent fire in Concord was a result of an unlicensed person attempting to work on a home heating unit. He and Lennon both said you should have professionals service your equipment. 
“Heating appliances are one of the main causes of home fires, so have them maintained and serviced regularly and professionally,” Lennon said.
Lennon recommends service once a year, along with a chimney sweep. He also advises testing all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month to make sure they are working properly.
As for other safety tips, Brown cautions that candles should not be left unattended. He also said to keep appliance vents free from snow and ice build-up, as they can cause fires.
Lennon said to keep household items at least 3 feet from any heat source, like a wood stove. Ashes from a wood stove should be cooled in a metal container and stored outdoors, at least 10 feet from any building, including structures like sheds or garages. Space heaters should be turned off when not in use. Lastly, Lennon advises plugging items directly into the wall when possible, rather than using an extension cord. 
 
As seen in the January 8, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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