Fire Department

from National Fire Prevention Association & Clark County Fire Department

During this time of year people should take specific steps to reduce the likelihood of a fire in their home. Due to extra decorations, use of various heating sources, and entertaining we experience different kinds of fire and safety dangers of which residents need to be aware.

Home Heating
  • Portable Electric Heaters
  • Wood Stoves
  • Fireplaces with Inserts
  • Portable Kerosene Heaters
  • Room Gas Heaters
To reduce the chances of a fire, turn on central heating using the thermostat while you can observe the unit working for a period of time. Waiting for it to come on in the middle of the night while everyone is asleep can be dangerous if the unit malfunctions.

Common Causes of Home Heating Fires

  • lack of regular cleaning leading to creosote build-up in wood-burning devices, chimneys and connectors
  • placing space heaters too close to combustibles
  • flaws in the construction or design of wood burning heating equipment
  • fueling errors involving liquid or gas-fueled heating equipment

Wood Burning Devices

Two of every three home heating fires in the U.S. in 1999, and five of every six related deaths, were attributed to space heating equipment. Follow these steps for safety when using wood burning devices:
  • Have the chimney checked by a specialist each year
  • Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations, etc. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire
  • Never burn cardboard, trash, decorations, etc., in a fireplace or a wood stove
  • Use wood only in fireplaces or stoves approved for wood
  • Never use wood in a fireplace made for a gas
  • Keep air inlets open; never restrict air supply to fire places
  • Keep glass doors or curtains closed while a fire burns
  • Soak hot ashes in water and dispose of them in a metal container outside the home
  • Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves
  • Put out the fire when going to bed or leaving home

Portable Electric (“Space”) Heaters

  • Place space heaters at least 3 feet away from combustibles, i.e. furniture, decorations, etc. and never put one in a room where someone sleeps
  • Plug a space heater directly into an outlet; never use an extension cord



Candle Safety

Nationally, there are many more home fires caused by candles than Christmas trees.

Candle fires occur twice as often in December as any other month.

  • Extinguish all candles before leaving home or going to bed
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from material that can’t burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax
  • Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface
  • Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials
  • Locate candles away from window blinds and curtains
  • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle nor allow a child to sleep in a room with a lit candle
  • Do not allow teens or children to have candles in their bedrooms
  • Do not carry a lit candle if, at all, possible
  • Do not use a lit candle when searching for items in a confined space
  • Never use a candle for a light when checking pilot lights or fueling kerosene heaters or lanterns

Return to Home