BIG BEAR LAKE, CALIF/November 2, 2015 – Big Bear Fire Department has some “Hot Tips for Cold Weather” to ensure safe winter heating. With the change in seasons in Big Bear Valley comes the need to warm our homes and businesses. Stay warm and safe during the winter months by following some simple tips.

Conventional Heating: Have a professional check and service your heating system each year.  This not only helps to prevent hazardous situations from occurring, but also maintains the efficiency of your heater. Always keep combustibles away from heat sources. Check the manufacturer’s specifications for clearance distances.

Portable Heaters:  Purchase only those heaters bearing the seal of Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Factory Mutual (FM) or another nationally recognized testing laboratory. Always use heating appliances according to manufacturer’s specifications. Make sure electric cords are in good condition. Adult supervision should always be maintained while space heaters are in use.  Never leave a portable heater on when unattended and never use an oven to heat your home; it can deplete the oxygen level.

Wood-Burning Stoves, Fireplaces, and Fireplace Inserts: Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood.  Make sure the damper is open prior to lighting. Never use flammable liquids or excessive amounts of paper to start or accelerate a fire. Keep a metal or glass screen in front of fireplace or stove openings to prevent fire and airborne embers from escaping and never leave a fire unattended. Have wood-burning stoves or fireplaces inspected and cleaned by a professional on an annual basis.

Smoke Detectors: Install and regularly maintain smoke detectors in the home per manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke detectors should provide coverage of sleeping areas and each level of the home. Test smoke detectors on a monthly basis and change the batteries twice a year. A good reminder is to do it when the time changes in the Fall and Spring.

Disposal of Ashes: Always dispose of ashes by placing them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Never put ashes in paper bags or cardboard boxes. Ashes can retain heat, making them capable of igniting a fire for several days. Ashes should be thoroughly soaked to ensure they are extinguished.If ashes are disposed of at a public dumpsite, do not put them in the trash receptacle, but in the dumpster marked for ashes only.

Carbon Monoxide Safety: Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, producing flu-like symptoms in its victims. Symptoms include severe headaches, dizziness, mental confusion, nausea and faintness. Death may occur if the victim remains in this atmosphere for a prolonged period of time. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, get fresh air immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Never use heating or cooking appliances intended for outdoors, inside the home. 

To ensure early warning of the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning, carbon monoxide detectors should be placed in the home, near sleeping areas, and at the home’s conventional heating source. For proper operation, detectors should be installed and maintained per manufacturer’s instructions. 

By providing regular maintenance to heating appliances and ensuring that they are being used in a safe and proper manner, safety and fire hazards can be greatly reduced. In the unfortunate event of a fire, have an established family home escape plan. Know two ways out of every room.Establish a safe meeting place outside of the home. Remember to contact 9-1-1 to report the fire once safety has been reached. Once out, never go back inside.  

For additional information on this or other fire and life safety topics, contact Big Bear Fire Department at www.bigbearfire.org or (909) 866-7566.

About Big Bear Fire Department:

Big Bear Fire Authority was formed under a Joint Powers Agreement in 2012 combining BigBear Lake Fire Protection District and Big Bear City Fire Department, now commonly known as Big Bear Fire Department. Since its inception,it is committed to providing Big Bear Valley with professional fire, medical and emergency services, “Protecting Lives and Property,” with timely response to fire and medical emergencies.

Contact:​ Dawn Marschinke
Big Bear Fire Department
41090 Big Bear Blvd.
P.O. Box 2830
Big Bear Lake, Calif. 92315
Phone:​ 909-866-7566 x224
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Big Bear Fire Department
41090 Big Bear Blvd.
PO Box 2830
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 866-7566 
(909) 866-8288 Fax

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Friday 8-4
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