So to help better educate the masses, the Lincoln County Fire Protection District has released the following tips:
1. Wood burning fireplaces: Chimneys and flues should be cleaned at least once each year, prior to the start of the season. Products of combustion build up on the inside and can cause a flue fire. Unfortunately, these fires are not always contained inside the flue.
2. Cleaning out the fireplace: Fireplace ashes should always be discarded into a metal container with a tight fitting lid and placed outside, away from the home and on a non-combustible surface, such as concrete or gravel. Do not place the container on a wood deck or in the garage. Hot embers can remain insulated inside fireplace ashes for days and cause a fire.
3. Space heaters help keep us warm, but can easily cause a fire if proper care is not taken. Do not place combustibles within 3 feet of a space heater…heat from the heater can ignite clothes, bedding materials, boxes and other items.
4. Circuit breakers in your electrical panel help protect us. A circuit breaker that “trips” more than once is a cause for concern. It typically means the circuit is overloaded or that too much amperage has been drawn through the circuit. A professional should investigate the problem. Do not tape circuit breakers in the “on” position…this defeats the safety mechanism and can cause a fire.
5. Outside fires must be attended at all times. Many homes have been damaged by fire because homeowners have left an outside fire unattended. Always have a means of extinguishment handy as well.
For more information call Barry Nuss, public information officer, at 636-528-8567.