MILLBURN, NJ - The first week of October is Fire Prevention Week — and as winter weather approaches, the Millburn Fire Department is advising the community to observe home heating safety precautions.
“As the evenings grow colder, residents will begin turning up the thermostat, or lighting a fire in the fireplace,” said Millburn Fire Chief J. Michael Roberts. “Our job is to ensure that our neighbors take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of their families and homes.”
Residents are advised to have their boilers and furnaces serviced by a qualified technician, and to make certain that items are not cluttered against radiators, furnaces, and stoves. Chimneys should be inspected for cracked bricks, creosote buildup, and blockages, which can present a risk of both fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Something as simple as keeping smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in good working order can avoid a tragedy,” said Chief Roberts. “The practice of putting fresh batteries in detectors with the changing of clocks for Daylight Savings Time is not only a responsible habit, but one that can save lives.”
The Fire Department is also reminding residents to be wary of the potential hazards posed by electrical space heaters. Flammable items should be kept well clear of heaters, and kerosene stoves and any heaters that use fuel or produce an open flame should never be used indoors. Outdoor fire pits and Chimeneas should be placed 25 feet away from structures and attended at all times, and a garden hose or pail of water should be available nearby.
“Another cold and snowy winter is predicted for this year,” said Roberts. “By exercising common sense and taking steps to safeguard their homes, residents can stay warm this fall and winter while also keeping themselves and their families out of danger.”