Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Newport/Morehead, NC

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NOUS42 KMHX 071130
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NCZ029-044>047-079>081-090>095-098-103-104-071530-

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC
630 AM EST Thu Dec 7 2017

...WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN NORTH CAROLINA
DECEMBER 3-9, 2017...

This week has been declared winter weather preparedness week in
North Carolina. All week long the National Weather Service will be
issuing Informative messages to help you prepare for winter
weather. Today we will talk about cold temperatures and the
dangers of fire and improper heating.

Cold temperatures are a fact of winter. With the cold temperatures
comes an increase in the number of house fires. According to the
National Fire Protection Association, someone is injured in a fire
every 31 minutes, and someone dies in a house fire every two and a
half hours. Eighty five percent of all fire related deaths
occurred in the home resulting from smoke and toxic fume
inhalation.

House fires resulting from heating material within the home ranks
second for the most deaths and property loss falling behind
improperly discarded smoking material. Chimney fires are the
number one cause of home heating fires and are typically the
result of a poorly maintained chimney where creosote is allowed to
build up. Fires resulting from improper use of portable and fixed
space heaters, including wood stoves, are responsible for a
disproportionate share of fire deaths. Space heaters are typically
involved in 25 percent of home heating fires but account for 74
percent of the deaths.

The American Red Cross responds to more than 68,000 disasters each
year, the majority of which are single-family fires. All types of
common space heating equipment are involved in these home fires,
electric heaters, kerosene heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, and
gas heaters. Common causes of space heating home fires are placing
space heaters too close to combustibles, and fueling errors
involving liquid or gas fueled heating equipment.

The Red Cross recommends taking the following preventive measures
to lessen the chance and impact of fire.

1) Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly and have
fresh batteries.

2) Be extremely careful with candles. Colder temperatures result
in more burning of candles. Winter storms and power outages
further increase the use of candles and oil lamps in the home.
Keep candles away from combustible materials. Never leave children
unattended in a room with lit candles. Keep candles, matches and
lighters out of the reach of children.

3) Inspect fireplaces and wood stoves.  Have your chimney
connections and flues inspected by a professional and cleaned if
necessary prior to the start of every heating season.

4) Use a sturdy screen or door in front of your fireplace when
burning fires.

5) Burn only wood, never burn paper, including discarded gift
wrap, or pine boughs.

6) Do not hang holiday decorations from or on your fireplace if
you plan to use it as a heat source.

7) Be aware of overuse of electrical outlets - don`t overload your
electrical outlets and be careful of extension cords that present
hazardous walkways.

8) Have one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Most
fire departments will provide training on how to use fire
extinguishers.

Many people fall victim to fires in their homes during the winter.
This fact means that everyone should have a fire extinguisher.
Make sure your fire extinguisher is fully charged. Be sure to test
smoke detectors and replace any broken detectors and dead
batteries.

Additional winter weather preparedness resources:
NWS winter safety page:
https://www.weather.gov/wrn/winter_safety
North Carolina Department of Public Safety preparedness page:
http://readync.org
FEMA`s winter preparedness page:
https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

$$


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