Fire Department issues wintertime safety advice

The Biloxi Fire Department, which sees an increase in fire calls at the outset of winter each year, is reminding residents to take steps to minimize the risk of inadvertently igniting household fires.

The fire department’s advice coincides with this afternoon’s announcement by the National Weather Service that a freeze warning is in effect from this evening to Friday morning in Biloxi. In fact, tonight’s temperature is expected to dip as low as 29 degrees, and nighttime temperatures are predicted to be in the 30s through Sunday evening. (Click the Weather button on the front page of the city web site for detailed forecasts.)

The fire department, meantime, encourages residents to be prepared for the cooler weather.

“Misuse of electric space heaters is the No. 1 cause of residential fires in winter months,” said Mark Dronet, a deputy fire chief who heads Biloxi’s Fire Prevention Division.

“Space heaters need to be kept three feet away from all combustibles, and you should buy only those space heaters that are UL-approved and equipped with a safety switch that will automatically turn off the unit if it turns over.

“And, by all means, never leave a space heater unattended. Always turn them off, and, to be safe, unplug them when they’re not in use.”

Dronet said residents should avoid burning candles for warmth, but those who insist on using candles should also use a candle holder.

Among the other tips:

All filters on heating units should be thoroughly cleaned before use.

Gas-powered heating units should be serviced once a year by a certified technician, and homes using a gas-powered heater should be equipped with a carbon-monoxide detector.

Fireplaces should be thoroughly cleaned by a chimney sweep before use, and residents should never burn pine in their fireplaces to avoid a build up of creosote in their chimney.

Read the rest of the fire department’s wintertime fire safety advice by clicking here.

Why not play a round or two?

The Gulf Coast Golf Association have good news regarding the re-opening plans for Coast courses. You can read it now by clicking here..

Pass it along

Know someone who may be interested in receiving these City of Biloxi e-mails? Forward them this copy by clicking on the Forward button below. Anyone can sign up to receive these e-mails directly by clicking on “Are you in the loop?” on the front page of the city web site.