Madison County Fire Department Winter Storm Safety

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Due to the potential threat of icing conditions across our region, the Madison

County Fire Department would like to provide these basic and simple safety

tips that could potentially save a life. A heavy build-up of ice can take a toll on

trees and power lines thus causing widespread power outages. Prolonged power

outages often increase the risk of residential fires and present several other

unique challenges.

Power Lines, if you must venture outside during an ice storm, be alert to the

possibility of electrical hazards:

Stay away from downed power lines and be alert to the possibility that tree limbs

or debris may hide an electrical hazard.

Treat all downed or hanging power lines as if they are energized. Warn others to

stay away and contact the electric utility.

A power line does not need to be sparking or arcing to indicate it is energized,

even if it’s sagging close to or on the ground.

Other utility lines can also become energized by being in contact with an

electrical line.

Lines that appear to be “dead” can become energized as crews work to restore

power, or sometimes from improper use of emergency generators.

Loss of Electrical Power, in the event of a power failure these simple tips may

help to reduce health and fire related hazards.

Make sure your Smoke and Carbon Dioxide detectors have fresh batteries and

are in working order.

When electric power is out, many people turn to candles for light, which is

dangerous. Candles are meant for effect and smell, not for lighting. They should

never be left unattended, placed in areas where children or pets could knock

them over, and or placed near combustible materials such as curtains.

Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide could accumulate or uncontrolled burning

could cause a fire for fuel-fired portable heaters. Always ensure that fuel burning

space heaters are a minimum of 3 feet away from any combustible materials.

• Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Some heaters have

very hot surfaces. Children should not be permitted to either adjust the

controls or move the heater.

• Keep doors open to the rest of the house if you are using an

unvented fuel-burning space heater. This helps to prevent pollutant

build-up and promotes proper combustion. Even vented heaters require

ventilation for proper combustion.

• Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or leave the

area. For fuel-fired heaters, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide could

accumulate or uncontrolled burning could cause a fire.

Never use your stove or oven to heat your home. These devices are not

designed to heat the room or home. Misuse of these devices could potentially

cause injury through fire or carbon monoxide production.

If you have a fireplace, before using it thoroughly inspect the chimney, flue and

damper system. Be sure that there are no obstructions or debris or animal nests

in the chimney. These may cause a blockage, allowing smoke to enter the home

or cause a fire in the chimney that might damage the home.

Never use a charcoal grill to cook or heat with inside the home. Charcoal grills

give off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Grills should be used only outdoors.

Running generators within any enclosed or partially enclosed structure can lead

to a dangerous – and often fatal – accumulation of carbon monoxide. Remember,

always keep the generator outside in a dry, protected area, away from windows

or air intakes where deadly exhaust fumes can enter living spaces.


The Madison County Fire Department stands ready to respond to any emergency

issue. We are taking the necessary precautions to ensure the community and

our members remain safe during this potential severe weather related event. We

will be happy to provide additional information at your request.


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