In the chill of the night
Have your heating equipment checked regularly.
NFPA Journal®, January/February 2008
Fore most of the year, I love New England. The summers are beautiful. The fall foliage is spectacular. Then winter comes along, as is its habit, and I start asking myself why I live in New England, as is my habit. Last winter I asked myself this question when my house would not warm up, no matter how high I pushed up the thermostat. My argument with the heating system continued while I worked on a school paper in the den. Then I smelled something burning. I immediately went downstairs to the kitchen thinking my husband had decided to cook something (and burned it…again).
No husband. No failed cooking attempts. From there, I followed the smoke to the basement. The basement was filled with smoke, which appeared to be coming from the furnace. Then the smoke alarms sounded and my husband and I immediately went outside and called the fire department.
Turns out our furnace had a misfiring fuel nozzle and although there was a lot of smoke, there wasn’t a fire. The fire department checked the area for carbon monoxide, etc., turned off the furnace, opened our windows, and told us to call our oil company before restarting the furnace.
The moral of my story? Have your heating equipment checked regularly. Here are just a few facts to think about over the winter months:
As educators, we know that the winter season brings increased fire risk. To help fire departments prepare their community, NFPA has created the “Keeping Your Community Safe and Warm” Heating Safety kit. The kits, on CD, were mailed to fire departments in November and included a number of resources including press releases, community outreach ideas, talking points, and op-eds. You can find all these materials for download on NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org.
We’ve also teamed up with the publisher Scholastic, Inc. to create a heating safety checklist and family activity kit. The information was mailed in early December to 150,000 grades two and three classroom teachers. You can download this classroom information from the Scholastic Web site at scholastic.com/firesafety.
Feel free to share this information with schools in your community.
In addition, here are just a few lifesaving messages that can help you stay safe this winter.
For more safety messages and heating resources visit www.nfpa.org.
With a concerted effort to get a fire safety message out as the temperatures drop, we can reduce the number of deaths and property damage this year. Here’s to a warm and safe winter season.
In this Section:
Specific purpose and proper protection
NFPA’s chief technician
Changing from an offensive to a defensive attack
Fire protection-rated doors
Gasoline in kerosene heater leads to deadly fire
National Fire Alarm Code® issues
Controlling home furnishing fires
In the chill of the night
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