Fire chief advises fire safety during cold spell

Published 6:21 pm Friday, December 29, 2017

Vicksburg Fire Chief Craig Danczyk is well aware that when cold weather arrives fire statistics go up.

“I have been watching the weather and when we are watching these 19 degree temperatures my head is tinging and I am acting like a radar and watching because usually historically when we get in the teens, we get busy and that is the reality for the fire department,” Danczyk said.

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He also said that any form of precipitation could make things worse.

“I am just hoping we don’t have a lot of precipitation because when it gets cold and we have precipitation or snow, that’s not good and it can become a game changer.”

Danczyk said in an effort to protect your home and make it hazard free from a fire, one must be proactive.

“I hope people have good house keeping habits inside their homes, whatever that may be,” he said. 

“Whether it is cooking or space heaters or anything electrical, how you are powering things in your home, televisions or cell phones, have some good housekeeping practices and make some good choices on using things that could be a fire hazard,” Danczyk said.

In an effort to prevent home fires during the winter months, the national fire fighter website offers tips on how to stay safe, which include:

• Keep children far away from any heating units or equipment and create at least a three-foot safety zone.

• Avoid the use of your oven to heat your home.

• Have all heating equipment and chimneys regularly inspected and maintained by professionals.

• Keep all flammable items three feet or more away from all water heaters, space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves or anything that is meant to heat your home.

• Install all heating equipment according to the manufacturer’s specifications (or asking for professional help).

• Plug just one heat-producing appliance in an outlet at a time. This includes items like coffee makers, toasters, hair dryers, curling irons and space heaters.

• Have Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) installed at your home. These breakers shut off electricity when danger is detected.

• Never run electrical cords under carpets or doorways.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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