As the weather is getting colder, heaters are starting to be used and Christmas trees may soon be put up.  The attached video show how quickly an actual tree can go up in flames and consume your home with smoke and flame.  Obviously, artificial trees that are non-combustible are more safe, but there is nothing like the smell of a real tree, right?  Just remember, keep ignition sources away from that real tree!  Also, plug those portable heaters directly into the wall.  Don’t plug them into power-strips or extension cords, AND keep the heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that might burn, like chairs, blankets, etc.

Concerning heaters – if you have any type of gas heaters or appliances in your home, including gas hot water heaters, gas furnaces, etc., I strongly recommend getting a carbon monoxide detector.  This odorless gas can kill an entire family while they sleep, and a conventional smoke detector will not pick it up.  Here is a link to an example, because it is a combination smoke detector AND carbon monoxide detector:

http://www.target.com/p/First-Alert-Talking-Combination-Carbon-Monoxide-Smoke-Alarm-SCO7CN-2/-/A-11134894?reco=Rec_pdp_11134894_ClickCP_Adjacency

I recently bought a new one (smoke detectors should be replaced at least every 10 years).  Target and Wal-Mart had a good selection, and they also have good selections at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s.  The bottom line here is don’t be cheap, get a good one.  These devices can and will save your life.

 Believe it or not, in the U.S., 10,000 people per year suffer injuries from carbon monoxide, and 1,500 people per year DIE from carbon monoxide poisoning.

http://www.childrenshospital.org/views/feb06/carbon.html

Share this with those you love to keep them safe during the winter season,

Ryan Holzaepfel, CEM
Chambers County
Emergency Management Coordinator
Fire Marshal
PO Box 957
Anahuac, TX  77514
Office:  409-267-2445
Fax:      409-267-4133