TFD: Drop in Temperatures Leads To Surge In Emergency Calls

In the past 24 hours, they have received 220 emergency calls. Andy Little with the Tulsa Fire Department says this is common this time of year and it should serve as a reminder to keep your home safe this fall and winter.

Monday, October 30th 2023, 3:40 pm

Overnight fire calls have been keeping the Tulsa Fire Department busy.

In the past 24 hours, they have received 220 emergency calls.

"Five of those calls were house fires, one was an apartment fire, and we made 8 carbon monoxide calls,” said Andy Little with the Tulsa Fire Department. 

Related Story: Tulsa Firefighters Respond To Several House Fires Overnight

Little says this is common this time of year.

 “Every year whenever the temperatures drop, we see this happen,” he says. 

Two of those fires started because of a chimney.

 “If you’re gonna utilize your chimney, it's important that you have a chimney sweep or someone come out and inspect and clean those,” Little said. 

Joshua Paus has been cleaning chimneys for three years and he says chimney fires can be caused by excessive buildup of soot or other flammable chemicals in the smoke chamber or floo.

“Usually what causes that is years of not having it swept, or burning what we call greenwood, otherwise known as non-seasoned,” said Paus. 

The sap from logs can make its way up and get thicker and tar-like.

 “If it gets close enough to the heat and enough heat is there, it ignites it and then you're in for a world of fun from there,” said Paus.

Paus says the signs of a fire are obvious.

“You’re gonna see a flame, usually pretty high up, most of the time, the cap either melts or gets blown off from the pressure, in some cases you’re gonna hear what sounds like a jet engine,” he said. 

All it takes to prevent this is to be on top of regular cleanings. If it seems like it smells like a barbecue in your chimney area, that's an indicator you should schedule a cleaning.

How to prepare my home for a freeze?

The City of Tulsa says it's important to protect your pipes from the cold.

Officials recommend protecting outside pipes by disconnecting garden hoses from your house and installing covers on outside faucets.

Also, if a sink is along an outside wall of your home, allow a trickle of water to run and open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate.

The National Weather Service says when temperatures drop to 28°F or lower for a couple of hours you should bring pets indoors, protect sensitive vegetation, protect outdoor pipes and let indoor faucets drip and to turn off automatic sprinklers.

Space Heater Safety Tips (via CBS News)

  1. If you're using a space heater, make sure it's not too close to things that can burn like upholstered furniture, clothing, a mattress, or bedding.
  2. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord, always plug it directly into a wall outlet.
  3. Remember to turn it off before leaving the room or going to bed. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Look for signs of malfunctions, especially on older models.
  4. Make sure it has an automatic shutoff function.
  5. Make sure you have working smoke detectors with fresh batteries. Change the battery twice a year.

On average, fires caused by portable heaters cause 65 deaths and 150 injuries a year, according to the US Fire Administration.


Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News 9 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

October 30th, 2023

February 23rd, 2024

February 23rd, 2024

February 23rd, 2024

Top Headlines

February 23rd, 2024

February 23rd, 2024

February 23rd, 2024

February 23rd, 2024