HELENA — As we step into the holiday season and the temperature drops, many of us will begin to decorate our homes as well as heat them. The Helena Fire Department wants to remind the public to take certain precautions to keep themselves and their homes safe.
“We want to try to limit any bad thing happening to somebody. And bad things happen very quickly, something that may even be, oh it's never done this in the past, can quickly, you know, bite us and stuff. So, we have to just stay vigilant this season and practice these things so we can have a nice time with our families, have a nice safe winter season,” says Deputy Fire Marshal for the City of Helena, Kurt Sheehan.
As we fire up our furnaces and stoke our fires, the fire department wants to encourage folks to keep any flammable materials and children at least 3 feet away from heating equipment. This can not only include open fires but devices like space heaters.
Another tip is to keep your chimney clean. This can be done by a professional chimney sweep. This can help keep harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide out of your home. It’s vitally important to have properly functioning and installed carbon monoxide detectors in your home as well.
As we begin decorating our homes for various holidays, it’s smart to be aware of your electricity usage. Sheehan warns against unsafe socket use and says to have a professional come take a look if you have any doubts or questions.
“We don't want to overload any circuit, you know. People take an outlet that was meant to plug 2 things in and now we're plugging 30 things into it,” says Sheehan.
While there are plenty more suggestions on how to keep your home, self, and loved ones safe this upcoming winter season, overall Sheehan recommends using common sense.
“Overall basic fire safety, basic common sense,” says Sheehan.