Officials urge public to prep heating systems before winter

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 11:36am

The Bossier City Fire Department responded to a call this week in reference to the smell of natural gas inside a home. With the use of a detector, fire crews were able to confirm that there was indeed a gas leak and provided assistance to the occupants in shutting off the gas and contacting the gas company. It was determined the leak came from a fireplace gas line value.
Bossier City Fire Chief Sammy Halphen says a call like that should serve as a reminder to residents to make sure gas fireplaces and home heating systems are working properly now before winter arrives. Chief Halphen offers these safety tips:
• Have a professional inspect gas fireplace lines and connections before use each season.

• Chimneys should be cleaned frequently to prevent creosote from building up and igniting. Never burn trash, paper, or green wood in your fireplace because these are difficult to control and cause heavy creosote buildup. Use a fireplace screen that is both big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks and heavy enough to stop rolling logs.

• Have your furnace checked by a professional. For gas furnaces the flame should burn a bright, steady blue. Gas that is not burning properly can fill your home with dangerous carbon monoxide. The same goes for gas burning fireplaces.

• If you have any appliances or equipment that burn fuel such as propane or natural gas, you should install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

• Call 911 immediately should you smell natural gas or hear a leak coming from a gas line.

• Only use space heaters with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety listing. The heater should be placed on the floor, away from combustible materials, and out of high-traffic areas. Never put anything on top of your space heater. Never leave the heater unattended or with unsupervised children. Electric heaters should be unplugged if you go to bed or leave the house.

• Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home. Test smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. When necessary, replace batteries immediately.

For more information about home fire safety, Bossier City residents can call the Bossier City Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau at (318) 741-8704.



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