Contact: Kimberly J. Evans
555 Wright Way
Carson City, Nevada 89711
Office: (775) 684-4554
Pager: (775) 861-5897
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 8, 1999
NEWS FROM: Nevada State Fire Marshal 99-185
Nevada State Fire Marshal Offers Fire-Safe
US Fire Administration Provides Valuable Information
to Address Potential Y2K Temporary Service Disruptions
"Address fire safety issues before any possible service disruptions occur
that may be related to the rollover to the year 2000," is the message from Nevada
State Fire Marshal Marvin Carr. Reduce your chance of experiencing a fire-related fatality
or injury by following these safety tips provided by the US Fire Administration:
Generators are often used during power outages. When using a generator remember to:
- Always read and following manufacturer's instructions and guidelines.
- Only use a generator or other fuel-powered machines outside the home. Carbon monoxide
fumes, released by the generator, are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
- Use the appropriate sized and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded
cords can overheat and cause fires.
- Never run cords under rugs or carpet where heat might build up or damage to a cord my go
- Never connect generators to another power source such as power lines. The reverse flow
of electricity or "back feed" can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
Research suggests more than one-third of home fires in the US occur during the winter
months of December, January, and February. One of the reasons these months pose a
magnified fire threat is due to increased use of heating sources, such as chimneys and
wood stoves. Because Y2K will occur during this time of increased fire threat, it is
particularly important to follow these heating safety tips:
- Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard,
it can be a source of toxic fumes.
- Alternative heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least 3 feet away.
- Kerosene heaters may not be legal in your area and should only be used where approved by
- Make sure your alternative heaters have "tip switches." These tip switches are
designed to automatically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.
- Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer and follow suggested
- Remember to keep all combustible liquids away from heat sources. Example: Never fill a
gas can next to your water heater. The pilot light in the water heater can easily ignite
- Never refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot. Refuel heaters only
- Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, and at least 3 feet away from combustible
materials. Ensure they have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation.
- Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting
nearby carpets, furniture or other combustible items.
- Have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on hand in case of a power outage.
- Don't use candles for emergency lighting.
- In case the power fails, plan to use alternative cooking devices in accordance with
- Never use open flames or grills indoors.
Never Stockpile Fuel or Flammable Liquids
- For those who feel the need to stock disaster supplies, we remind you that it is
extremely dangerous to stockpile any liquid fuels such as gasoline, kerosene or lantern
- Some smoke alarms may be dependent on your home's electrical service and could be
inoperative during a power outage. Check to see if your smoke alarm uses a back-up battery
and install a new battery at least once a year.
"Check with the fire department in your area to see if they can provide more
information about how your community is preparing for any potential Y2K problems,"
says Carr, who encourages families to consider purchasing approved smoke detectors and
home fire extinguishers to make their home fire safe all year round.
For more information, contact the Nevada State Fire Marshal at (775) 687-4290.