Don't make an ash out of yourself this season

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2005

As winter approaches, many folks are going to be thinking about firing up wood stoves, turning up thermostats for furnaces and finding creative ways to keep warm, especially with the increase in fuel costs.

Capital City Fire and Rescue would like to help prevent a fire from occurring in your home this winter.

• Have a qualified person inspect your furnace or wood stove. This should be done at least once a year to help ensure the heating unit will work properly and to find any damage.

• Remove all combustible materials stored near the heating unit. This includes paper or cardboard that may have stacked up during the time the heating unit was not in use.

• If you use a wood stove, clean the chimney thoroughly with a chimney brush. This helps remove any creosote build up which reduces the chances of having a chimney fire.

• Burn only seasoned, dry wood. Do not use "green" wood.

• When cleaning ashes out of the fire box, use a metal shovel and a metal bucket. Never place ashes in a paper bag or box. Dispose of all ashes outside and away from your home.

• Make sure there are working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

• Develop and practice an escape plan from all rooms, especially bedrooms, in the home.

Reminder: If you live in the Lemon Creek and Mendenhall Valley areas, open burning is prohibited from Nov. 1 through March 31. If you are unsure if you live in the burn ban areas, go to There you will find a link that shows maps of prohibited open burning areas.

Remember, a moment spent to prevent could save a lifetime of sorrow.

• Daniel M. Jager is a fire prevention officer at Capital City Fire and Resuce.

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