KNOXVILLE (WATE) – This time of year as the temperatures drop, firefighters unfortunately stay very busy. The spokesperson for the Knoxville fire department says fires often can be easily been prevented.
“We always see an increase in fires starting around the end of December all the way up to the first of March. That is our busy season,” said Knoxville Fire Department Spokesperson Capt. DJ Corcoran.
Corcoran says in freezing temperatures all too often the fires could have been prevented.
“When we see stuff like that we sort of cringe and think wow if they only had done this it would have been different or taken this precaution before,” said Corcoran.
He says common mistakes are using a fireplace, kerosene heater, space heater or any alternative heating methods too close to combustible materials.
“You want to keep a three foot radius where you don’t have any of that radiant heat heating starting a fire from couches, draperies anything like that. Keep it about three foot away,” said Corcoran.
He also wants home and business owners to remember their pipes. He says to leave faucets with a drip and don’t forget about businesses with sprinkler systems.
“Wrap those make sure to take precautions to make sure that those pipes don’t freeze,” said Corcoran.
If you plan to use a portable generator during the occasional power outage Corcoran says to follow the instructions and keep the generator outside.
“One thing you want to make sure you do with that generator is don’t have it inside your home or don’t have it even inside your garage. The carbon monoxide that that generator emits can cause death,” said Corcoran.
He also says to keep generators away from flammable materials.
“Have it about three feet away from anything – bushes, any greenery shrubbery or anything like that the side of your house,” said Corcoran.
He recommends homeowners have carbon monoxide detectors. He says this common sense advice could prevent a fire and save your life.
As for using an emergency generator, the state fire marshal’s office reminds residents to plug appliances directly into the generator and never operate a generator under wet conditions.