Area Fire Marshall warns of hazards and carlessness
With the holiday season in full swing and winter just around the corner, fires become a big problem. Several area fire departments spend a great deal of time dealing with fires that were considered accidents, but with some common sense and vigilance could have been avoided.
Sevierville City Fire Marshall, Tommy White spoke about the recurrent problem of fires this time of year. He said that the Sevierville Fire Department has many unnecessary fires every year because of carelessness.
He urges people, “Be familiar with the hazards that you have in your home. We as people tend to overlook the hazards right in front of us, like putting the groceries on the stove when we get home.”
“Most fires are accidents, accidents that happen because we aren’t paying attention,” he continued soberly. “Many accidents come from storing combustible items such as drapes, cardboard boxes and toys too close to heat producing devices.”
The Fire Marshall also stated that live trees that are cut are prohibited in apartment buildings, schools, assembly occupancies (such as restaurants), or any other multi-family buildings and are against the codes enforced by the State of Tennessee and the City of Sevierville, due to the problems occurred in the past. Live trees that have dirt balls on the bottom are acceptable however.
Another concern voiced by the Fire Marshall was chimney fires. “Chimney fires are big this time of year,” he said. “It is because people haven’t had their chimneys cleaned or repaired.
Two out of three reported home heating fires and associated deaths and injuries in 2001 involved portable and fixed space heaters and related equipment, such as fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connectors, according to a newly released National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report.
With home heating costs already rising toward this winters predicted record levels, NFPA is urging caution about the use of space heaters and other supplemental heating devices to keep home heating costs down. Consumers should be aware that space heaters carry a much greater risk of causing home fires than central heating, such as furnaces.
Fire Marshall White and the rest of the Sevierville Fire Department hopes you heed this advice. They urge Sevier County to please be careful!