The State Fire Marshal has issued a warning to those who’re using alternative sources of heat during the cold weather to take the proper precautions to avoid a fire. A spokesman for the Sioux City Fire Department says winter is a dangerous time for fires from many sources. Firefighter Joe Rodriguez says heating sources are a danger, but so are the decorations such as candles.
He says you should never go to bed or leave the house without blowing the candles out, and keep them in a sturdy container and away from combustibles. Rodriguez says people sometimes plug too many things into too few outlets and you can avoid problems by reading the directions on your holiday lights. He says you should find out how many strands you can put in one outlet so you don’t overload them. Rodriguez says real Christmas trees can become a fire hazard quickly if not taken care of properly.
Rodriguez says keep the trees away from heating vents to avoid having them dry out quickly, and be sure there is always water in the tree base. Rodgriguez says after you’ve made sure your heating source and decorations are safe, be sure your smoke alarms are working and make sure everyone knows how to safely get out of the home in case of a fire.
By Josie Cooper, KSCJ, Sioux City