Winter weather could delay first responders, safety tips to keep your home safe

Local News

BOILING SPRINGS, S.C. (WSPA) – With the winter weather coming, it may make take first responders longer to get to you. So, it’s important that you are staying safe, especially when you’re trying to keep warm.

Boiling Springs Fire Chief Scott Miller said they have doubled their staffing for the storm. Miller said during these times, they see an increase in house fires, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide calls.

Even if you lose power during the stormy weather, there are safe ways you can heat your home.

“Anytime you use an alternative heating source, whether it’s a space heater or kerosene heater, whatever it is you need, make sure you keep it away from combustibles,” said Chief Miller.

Miller said avoid bringing any outside heating sources into your home. Leave your grills and patio heaters where you are, and don’t use your ovens or stoves for heating. Most importantly, he said to make sure all your alarms are working.

“While you’re buying your bread and milk and getting prepared, test your smoke alarms and CO alarms and make sure they’re operational,” said Miller.

Keep in mind it will take longer to get to you if you do need help.

“Mother nature kind of dictates that, while we’re here and ready to respond, we’ve overstaffed and prepared for it, our response isn’t going to be as fast as it normally would be,” said Miller.

“It definitely is going to be a little bit slower than normal, because the roads and we have to take safety precautions that the normal citizen has to take when they drive on the roads,” said Gaffney Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano.

Chief Caggiano said it’s weather like this that makes it important to keep your chimney clean.

“People who don’t normally use their fireplace, they’ll start burning wood in the fireplace. And that fireplace hadn’t been cleaned, or hadn’t had their chimney cleaned in many, many years and they have a chimney fire. A lot of different things we don’t normally see,” said Caggiano.

Both fire chiefs said, never fill Kerosene heaters inside, avoid candles, and make sure you have a fire extinguisher. The best thing they said you can do, is to be prepared.

Other safety tips they said are to make sure you have all your prescriptions filled, if you use electric blankets, or heating pads, to make sure they are in good condition.

The Boiling Springs Fire Department also has ATVs and SUVs with equipment inside to help them answer calls.

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