LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)—Residents try and keep warm in the colder months by lighting their fire pits or using space heaters in their home, but sometimes those forms of heat can be deadly.
“The majority of them [fires] can be prevented. “ Said Alton Trahan, “Fireplace fires obviously happen when there is a spark or an ember that ignites.”
The key to prevention is making sure your fireplace is clean. Steven Comeaux has swept chimneys for over 30-years. He said a chimney should be cleaned based on the frequency of its use.
“It really all depends on how much you used it. If you’re the type to burn it every two to three times a year well obviously you can go three or four years. I recommend checking it every two or three years just to make sure your dampers on track you know, your screens not clogged. Technically after a good truck load of wood, a good rick of wood, that’s a good rule of thumb I would say do it.” Said Comeaux.
Three to four significant fires are blamed on fireplaces each winter, according to Alton Trahan. But now space heaters are starting to destroy homes as well.
“You want to make sure you plug them into the wall, do not use extension cords, and just give them space. Give them at least three feet around so anything nearby doesn’t catch on fire.”
Trahan added residents should also remember to check their smoke alarms and replace the batteries if needed.