Fulton Fire Rescue Urges Residents to Practice Fireplace Safety to Stay Warm | Print |

On Wednesday, Fulton Fire Rescue responded to a chimney fire in South Fulton County, GA.   Fire Chief Larry Few reminds residents to use special care when hearting their homes with fireplaces and alternative heat sources.

“We are aware that many residents are struggling to keep warm during this storm,” states Chief Few, Fulton Fire Rescue. “We strongly encourage everyone to practice fire safety when using alternative heating sources.”

Thousands across Georgia, including many in Fulton County, have faced power outages during this weather event. Winter storms that can interrupt electrical service and cause people to turn to alternative heating sources also contribute to the increased risk of fire in winter. Winter fires can be prevented! The US Fire Administration provides the following heating tips to help prevent fires and to stay safe this winter season:

•                   Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from all heat sources including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, space heaters or candles.

•                   Never use an oven to heat your home.

•                   Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

•                     Remember to maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional


Fireplaces regularly build up creosote in their chimneys. They need to be cleaned out frequently and chimneys should be inspected for obstructions and cracks to prevent deadly chimney and roof fires. Check to make sure the damper is open before starting any fire. Never burn trash, paper or green wood in your fireplace. These materials cause heavy creosote buildup and are difficult to control. Use a screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks. Don't wear loose-fitting clothes near any open flame. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed. Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.

 More Fire Safety Tips

• Never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device. Not only is it a safety hazard, it can be a source of potentially toxic fumes.

• If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry the amp load. TIP: Choose an extension cord the same size or larger than the appliance electrical cord.

• Using electrical space heaters in bathrooms, or other areas where they may come in contact with water.

• Frozen water pipes? Never try to thaw them with a blow torch or other open flame, (otherwise the pipe could conduct the heat and ignite the wall structure inside the wall space). Use hot water or a UL labeled device such as a hand held dryer for thawing.

• If windows are used as emergency exits in your home, practice using them in the event fire should strike. Be sure that all the windows open easily. Home escape ladders are recommended.

• If there is a fire hydrant near your home you can assist the fire department by keeping the hydrant clear of snow so in the event it is needed, it can be located.