Following the first snow flakes falling in the Tri-cities yesterday, the cold weather has sure set in for a few days. It always seems that there is a higher risk of fires when the temperatures drop into the teens or even single digits. There are many steps that we can all take and remind our citizens to help prevent fires.
While I was at the firehouse today working out, the on-duty shift was telling me about a fire they ran this morning. After listening to the scenario, I wanted to remind everyone of what most of us would consider a “no-brainer,” but there are citizens out there that don’t realize many of the hazards. The discussion started with about how a resident did not have a working heat pump and they were using the KITCHEN STOVE to heat the house to stay warm. Needless to say, the heat from the stove top caused some items to catch fire before spreading to the cabinets.
Kitchen stoves serve the sole purpose of being used to heat and cook FOOD! They should never be used in any attempt to heat the house. This is not the first time that I have heard or seen someone trying to heat the house with a kitchen stove, therefore I have responded on fires caused by this before. The hazards range from the heat catching items on the stove-top on fire if the burners are on to provide heat to the heating elements inside of the stove burning up. Not only is this extremely dangerous and a hazard for kids in the house, but it also increases the likelihood of a fire occurring.
NOTE: If the kitchen stove is a gas appliance, the residents are also at risk of CO poisoning.
If you know someone who is attempting to do this, please share the information with them and make them aware of safer alternatives out there.