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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu


December 24, 2013

The New Orleans Fire Department would like to wish everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season and with this stint of cold weather we’re experiencing, remind citizens not to compromise their safety in an effort to keep warm.  Below is a list of Winter Fire Safety Tips to keep in mind:




  • Use heaters only in well ventilated rooms.
  • Place heaters where they will not be knocked over easily.
  • Do not use heaters to dry clothing or other items.
  • Keep heaters at a safe distance from curtains, furniture and all combustibles.
  • Don’t leave children alone with space heaters on.  An adult should always be present when a space heater is in use.


hazards associated with unvented heaters


  • Depletion of oxygen from the room resulting in death.
  • Clothing or close combustibles catching on fire when close to flames.
  • Air pollution such as carbon monoxide whenever fuel is incompletely burned.




  • Plug heaters directly into the wall socket, and not into extension cords.
  • Check the cords on electric heaters before using. If the cord is frayed or splitting, have the cord replaced by an appliance repair person.






  • Keep anything that may burn at least 3 feet away from the heater.
  • Never allow children to play with, or around, the heater.
  • Never place anything inside the grill on the front of the heater.
  • Unplug heater when they’re not being used.




  • Floor furnaces should be cleaned and vacuumed prior to usage and should be checked for proper ventilation.
  • Make sure floor furnaces are clear of all coverings.
  • All gas heating sources should put out a clear blue flame, if you see a primarily orange or yellowish flame; have it checked by a professional.
  • All gas heating sources must also be properly ventilated. Keeping a window slightly opened can circulate fresh air and reduce carbon monoxide buildups in tightly sealed houses.
  • Never! Use a stove or oven to heat the home.  This causes a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide gas in the home.




  • Before you light candles put them in a non-tip candle holder.
  • Never burn candles near a Christmas tree or combustible decorations or displays.
  • Keep candles well away from curtains and other combustibles, and never put candles in windows or near exits.
  • Don't leave candles burning unattended or within the reach of small children.
  • Extinguish candles before you leave a room, go to bed, or leave home.




  • Don’t leave food unattended on the stove.
  • Pot handles are to be turned in while cooking on the stove.








  • Keep dangling clothing away from burners.
  • Keep appliances clean and free of grease and crumbs.
  • Keep curtains and other combustibles away from the stove.
  • Make sure the stove is off and small appliances are unplugged before going to bed.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy, especially in the kitchen.




  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Keep ashtrays away from upholstered furniture and curtains.
  • Always extinguish cigars, cigarettes and tobacco completely.
  • Check wastebaskets and furniture for smoldering cigarettes.




  • Uses only seasoned wood, never use green wood, plastic artificial logs, paper or trash.
  • Make sure the chimney flue is open before the fireplace is used.
  • Always use a protective screen.
  • Clean interiors, hearths and chimneys yearly.
  • Have your chimney inspected by a professional at lease once a year and have it cleaned if necessary.
  • Remove ashes in a metal container.
  • Because they may rekindle, never store ashes in your home.




  • Install smoke detectors near bedrooms and on every floor.
  • DO NOT install smoke detectors in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Test the batteries monthly.
  • Keep smoke detectors away from air vents.
  • Place smoke detectors at least 4 to 6 inches away from walls and corners.









  • Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near bedroom areas and family rooms, for extra protection; place one about fifteen feet away from your home’s heat source.
  • DO NOT install them near air vents or fans.
  • Test your CO Detector each week by pressing the test/silence button to make sure that the alarm sounds.
  • Keep your CO detectors dust free by vacuuming air vents regularly.


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Last updated: 1/13/2014 11:27:29 AM

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