Lafayette Fire Department gives tips to prepare your home for cold weather

LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) – As temperatures continue to drop, the number of fire calls increases for area firefighters.

It’s that time of year when the fire department expects to be busier than usual. Firefighters are preparing not only physically, but mentally.

“Mentally the firefighters are actually getting prepared to understand that there will be some nights particularly within the next few days or so, that they maybe responding more often then they probably usually would,” said Lafayette Fire Department spokesman, Alton Trahan.

But you can play a role in helping reduce the fire calls coming in by knowing how to properly heat your home.

Trahan says most recently they’ve responded to several fireplace fires.

“We’ve had at least one fire where they improperly discarded ashes from the fireplace. It remains hot for quite sometime, so you want to make sure you put it either in an improved container away from the patio and home, especially don’t put it in your trashcan,” said Trahan.

Trahan says another major concern–space heaters.

“Particularly the electric space heaters that plug in the wall,” said Trahan. “We want to make sure that you plug them directly into the outlet and don’t use extension cords because that’s oftentimes where it shorts out, and if you can turn them off at night.”

The big warning Trahan has for homeowners is to stay away from improper heating elements–like a stove top.

“You should never do that because that’s an open flame and it can ignite the cabinets or some other combustible nearby on fire,” said Trahan.

Trahan suggests taking necessary precautions: which include making sure you have working smoke detectors in your home and an emergency escape plan for your family.

If you’re in need of a smoke detector or need someone to come out and do an inspection, contact the Lafayette Fire Department at (337) 291-8704.

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