As temperature drop, fire dangers go up

PHILADELPHIA - December 16, 2010

At a Thursday afternoon event, officials handed out smoke detectors.

Six of the deaths so far this year were in homes where there was no smoke detector or it was not working properly.

"We have to have smoke alarms on every level, make sure that they work, make sure that we check them at least once a week. We want to make sure we replace the batteries, clean them if we have to at least once a year," said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

At this time of year, Christmas trees are always an issue. Make sure to use high quality artificial trees and keep real trees watered and away from heat sources.

Also, make sure the electrical wiring is properly maintained and certified and don't overload circuits.

Space heaters, electric and kerosene, should be kept at least 3 feet away from combustible materials and use only K-1 grade kerosene.

"If it's electric, make sure it's plugged into an outlet, never use extension cords when you use a space heater," said Ayers.

Since last year, the city has toughed the requirements on carbon monoxide detectors. The fire department recommends one on every level of a home.

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