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Press Releases / 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 24, 2011

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FDNY URGES NEW YORKERS TO BE FIRE SAFE WHILE KEEPING WARM IN SUBFREEZING TEMPERATURES

As residents try to keep warm during the coldest days so far this winter, the FDNY is reminding all New Yorkers to remember a few simple precautions while heating their homes.  Colder months typically bring an increase in fires as more people resort to inexpensive – and often deadly – ways to keep warm.

“The real tragedy is that so often these fires are easily preventable,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said. “Unsafe home heating methods are a leading cause of fires during the winter.  Remembering just a few basic tips can keep you and your family safe.”

Among them:

  • Space heaters should be on a flat surface at least three feet from anything that can burn and should always be turned off when leaving a room or going to sleep.
  • Never use an extension cord with a space heater or any cord that is frayed or damaged. Space heaters should be plugged directly into an outlet.
  • Never use the kitchen oven or gas range to heat your home or apartment. This could lead to an accumulation of dangerous levels for carbon monoxide, which can cause serious illness, or even death.
  • Check on your neighbors when the temperature is below the freezing mark, especially the elderly and those with pre-existing health problems.
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If you already have detectors installed, make sure they work by testing them at least once a month.

For more information on home heating tips in the winter months and other fire safety tips year round, please visit the FDNY website at www.nyc.gov/fdny.  Call 311 to report lack of heat or hot water in your home.

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Steve Ritea, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

http://www.nyc.gov/fdny

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