This morning, Tuesday, November 6th, State meteorologists predicted a significant Northeaster storm will impact Connecticut on Wednesday and Thursday. Light rain will start Wednesday morning. Winds will increase to 20 - 25 mph with gusts to 40 - 60 mph. Consequently, additional power outages are expected due to earlier damage to the power system. Moderate to heavy rain is also forecast starting Wednesday afternoon and throughout the night. Please monitor NOAA weather radio and local news stations for the latest storm conditions and take the necessary precautions to keep safe.
As the temperature outside drops, Wilton residents take to the indoors to keep safe and warm. Many without power turn to alternate heating sources. What they may not realize is that turning up the heat can increase the risk of home heating fires. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSA), an estimated 33,000 fires and 180 deaths occur each year from home heating equipment.
"While these numbers are frightening, nearly all of these fires are preventable," said Fire Marshal David Kohn. "We can prevent home heating fires in Wilton by taking some simple precautions and using heating equipment properly."
The Wilton Fire Department recommends some simple home heating safety tips, so residents can help keep our community safe.
- Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment. Make sure that the heater is placed on a flat level floor and not on a rug or carpet. Keep children and pets away.
- Never refill a space heater while it's operating or still hot and always refill it outdoors.
- Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
- Never use gasoline in a kerosene heater. Even a small amount can be dangerous.
- Have your chimney inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.
- Use a sturdy fireplace screen.
- Open the fireplace damper before lighting the fire and leave it open until the ashes have cooled. This will prevent the buildup of poisonous gasses in the home.
- Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes outdoors in a metal container with a lid. Hot embers can remain long after a fire is out.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home - when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
- Never use an oven or stove to heat your home. They are not intended for that purpose and can pose a CO or fire hazard.
For further information on these tips, please call the Wilton Fire Department at (203) 834-6249.