Cold weather home safety prevention - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Cold weather home safety prevention

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As the arctic blast makes it's way to our area tomorrow, many of us might not venture out into the cold.

So if you're going to stay home, now is a good time to think home safety.

KSFY News spoke with a Sioux Falls fire inspector about the home safety hazards which might be a danger throughout the season.

Sioux Falls Fire Inspector Russ Downs believes a little common sense goes a long way to keeping your home safe from fire during the cold winter months.

The frigid weather we're having could be a potential fire hazard in our homes.

"People are indoors more so they're running their furnaces more, heaters, space heaters, fireplaces," Downs said.

Fire Inspector Downs tell us whether you use a furnace or a fireplace to keep warm, there are some basic things to think about it when cranking up the heat.

"As far as furnaces go, we want to have them maintained. If they haven't been checked, have them checked out. be sure they're operating properly. Fireplaces, you want to be sure you have a screen in front of your fireplace to keep sparks from flying in your room," Downs said.

And besides making sure sparks don't fly out of your fireplace, you should be careful what you put in it.

"Only burn wood or something that is supposed to be burned in there. We don't want to throw a bunch of newspapers or cardboard in there, it gets the fire too big. Have your chimney cleaned, that's very important," Downs said.

Downs explained taking some preventative steps around the house can stop your home from going up in flames.

"That's our main goal here, space heaters keep three feet away, keep kids away from them. try to limit extension cords going to space heaters. Try not to heat your house with an oven, that's always a concern as far as safety and danger," Downs said.

Downs has one final piece of advice which is good to follow all year-round.

"I would like to stress that you have working smoke detectors. So if you haven't checked them, check them. If they need a new battery, get a new battery in them.">

Besides smoke detectors, Fire Inspector Downs also suggests getting a carbon monoxide detector.

Unlike a gas leak, you can't smell carbon monoxide.

So if you have a gas-fueled appliance in your house such as a furnace, stove or dryer, any of those can give off the poisonous gas.

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