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Chimney and Home Heating Safety Tips
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By Firefighter Charles Foy
January 17, 2018

Winter has certainly made its presence felt here in beautiful Southern Chester County. A recent two-week period with below freezing temperatures stressed many home heating units and chimneys used overtime to keep warm. Each year the West Grove Fire Company responds to several home heating-related incidents ranging from chimney fires to furnace malfunctions to gas odors and leaks. According to the National Fire Protection Association: Nearly half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January & February. Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths.

The following are tips and links to sound advice you can follow to keep your home safe.

- never use a barbecue indoors to cook or provide heat.
- never use a barbecue in a garage to cook or provide heat, even with the door open.
- never use a stove (gas or electric) to heat a home
- chimneys and home heating units should be inspected and cleaned annually
- never plug a portable heater into an extension cord
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month and change the batteries twice a year.

Hyperlinks: Chimney Safety Institute of America FAQs
National Fire Protection Association Chimney Information
National Fire Protection Association Gas Furnace Flu Information
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2018 Incidents
Fire EMS
Jan 65 239
Total 65 239

Fire Run Statistics By Township
Franklin 7
London Britain 3
London Grove 16
New London 6
Penn 13
West Grove 5
Mutual Aid 15
Total 65

EMS Run Statistics By Township
Franklin 21
London Britain 7
London Grove 30
Londonderry 11
New London 20
Penn 99
West Grove 15
Mutual Aid 36
Total 239

Past Incidents
Fire EMS
2017 665 2394
2016 708 2313
2015 560 2208
2014 619 2244
2013 577 2095
2012 577 1957
2011 534 2035
2010 588 1782
2009 507 1669
2008 529 1624
2007 584 1624
2006 554 1412

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West Grove Fire Company
PO Box 201
West Grove, PA, 19390
Emergency Dial 911
Non-Emergency: 610-869-9326
Station Fax: 610-869-4217
E-mail: info@wgfc.org
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