BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon Fire Department is urging community members to stay safe while they keep warm this winter and holiday season.
Buckhannon firefighter Shane Jenkins said as the temperatures drop, fire calls go up.
“The big one is space heaters and stuff like that — just make sure you have enough room between them and other objects,” Jenkins said. “Don’t plug extension cords into surge protectors and be careful how much of a load you put on a surge protector, and then of course, if you have a chimney, have that cleaned and inspected before you start your fires for the season.”
Jenkins also recommended sleeping with the door closed in case a fire does start, so it can’t spread to bedrooms quickly.
And if conditions are icy outside, Jenkins said it’s best to stay inside, if possible.
“If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out,” he advised. “If you absolutely have to, just keep it slow. When the winter season kicks in, we get that first night where we always have a bunch of wrecks because people don’t want to slow down; they want to stay with their same time schedule and not leave a little earlier,” Jenkins said. “That would be my suggestion: leave a little earlier to give yourself enough time to get places when you know the roads are going to be bad if you have to be out.”
If the temperatures drop and cause water pipes to freeze, do not attempt to thaw them yourself, he said.
“My advice there is to call a professional; don’t try to heat anything under your house without having a license or some professional there to help you with it,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins also recommended that people proceed with caution when trying new recipes on Thanksgiving.
“The biggest one that we run into is people trying to fry their turkeys on Thanksgiving,” he said. “I would also recommend having someone who’s very knowledgeable about that because they can go wrong, and they can go wrong quickly.”
“I would say just have someone who’s experienced with that or even maybe call a professional and have somebody else make it for you and pick it up, and then you can support a local business and get your Thanksgiving dinner,” Jenkins said.
Additional winter and holiday-related fire causes and prevention safety tips may be found on the National Fire Protection Association’s website.