As Temperatures Fall, Fire Danger Rises

Tuesday, January 11th 2011, 6:11 pm
By: News 9

Ed Murray, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fire safety officials are warning people to take every precaution when they set a fire in the fireplace to chase away the winter chill.

More homeowners are using their fireplaces now that the temperatures have taken a dive. Deputy Chief Cecil Clay with the Oklahoma City Fire Department said there are some dangerous mistakes a lot of homeowners make.

"We continually see people who put too many logs on the fire," said Clay. "They shouldn't have over two or three logs, just regular wooden logs, in the fire. And sometimes, three's too much."

Clay added people should not use starter logs as replacements for real logs because they burn hotter. "They will overheat the firebox and allow the heat to transmit through the bricks to the framing members, and then you've got a full-blown fire on your hands."

Rex McGee, the owner of Stoves, Mantels, and More in Midwest City, is a certified chimney sweep and has been a Midwest City firefighter for more than 27 years. He said anyone can use a good flashlight to find any build-up of potentially flammable deposits inside their chimney, but he also encouraged residents to hire a professional to conduct a yearly inspection.

Deputy Chief Clay also said working smoke detectors should be at the top of everyone's fire safety list.