Press Releases

Winter is Almost Here and the Birmingham Fire Department is Gearing Up with New Equipment

As residents prepare to deck their halls for the holidays, the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Department is gearing up for potential hazards that can come as a result of certain decorations. While Christmas trees are a traditional part of the holiday, they can also be a major source of fuel in a fire.  According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA) half of all home-heating fires occur in the months of December, January and February. Heating equipment is involved in 1 in every 6 reported home fires and 1 in every 5 home fire deaths. Additional studies further showed 4 of every 5 Christmas tree fires occur in December and January.

This past Tuesday Birmingham City Councilors approved resolutions accepting bids from North America Fire Equipment Company (NAFECO) and Sunbelt to purchase fire fighter protective wear items as needed as the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Department. While it’s great that our firefighters are suiting up with additional gear, here are some tips that you can follow to make sure rescue workers DON’T pay your family a visit during this holiday season:

  • Keep any objects that can burn, at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces.
  • Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away as possible from your house.
  • Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
  • Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents every year.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container, and keep it outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby buildings.
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry (chiara.perry@birminghamal.gov) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294