Good afternoon from the jumpseat. Old man winter is upon us again and as the temperature drops the fire danger seems to more than double. As we run our EMS calls this time of year I can’t help but notice the number of extra heaters that people are using. From kerosene to electric they come in all types and sizes and present a serious fire danger. Add these types of supplemental heating devices to the extra holiday decorations and it’s a great recipe for tragedy.
So how do we handle these situations? I believe that we can use any chance that we have to use public education to help get the word out. The one avenue that I always suggest is using the EMS runs to help show the public ways to secure their heating source. After the patient care is done you can take a few moments to explain and move things to help prevent these types of fires. Filling kerosene heaters outside the house, removing flammable materials from around the source, and not overloading electric outlets give you a great start in educating the home owners.
Another danger of these heating sources can be while fighting these fires. If you are crawling through in zero visibility and happen on a kerosene heater you could find yourself in a mess. Remember that kerosene is flammable and we need to make sure to not knock them over and make an effort to remove them from the structure. These seem like simple common sense tips, but add in some 500 plus degree heat and zero visibility they may not become so simple. We need to train to deal with these types of heaters in realistic conditions and the keys to success when faced with them in fighting these fires.
I hope everyone is having a great holiday season now let’s spend some time reviewing how we deal with these heaters to make sure we stay safe. Let’s all join together to spread the word and continue to keep our communities safe.
Thanks for the visit to the jumpseat!!