Cosy fires can get out of control if piled too high warns Laois Fire Service
Homefires will be burning across Laois over the coming days, but Laois Fire & Rescue Service has issued a warning to stay safe whilst staying warm.
"Incidents of chimney fires increase in cold weather. We are asking the public to please be careful if lighting open fires. Ensure not to pack the grate too full of fuel. Bigger fires are the most common cause," said a spokesperson.
They advise to use a sparkguard on open fires, and do not store fuel too close to the fire.
Also do not block up room vents, which are important to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide buildup.
Another danger comes from portable heaters.
"There is a danger that people take out extra heaters and leave them beside their beds. Keep heaters far away from clothes, from bedding and from furniture," Laois Fire & Rescue Service has warned.
They also warn that if electricity goes and candles are used, to ensure they are not near anything flammable, and do not leave a candle in a room unattended.
The fire service is ready for the predicted Status Orange Snow & Ice that comes into effect in Laois at 3pm today.
"We have all provisions in place. Our vehicles have snowchains and snow socks, and our crews have snow grips. As per usual they are on call 24/7 and will be maintaining normal services," the spokesperson said.
Other advice from Laois Fire & Rescue Service is related to vulnerable neighbours.
"Check in on them, as well as fire they are more at risk of hypothermia and running low on supplies," the spokesperson said.
"Close your doors at bedtime, this greatly slows down the spread of smoke and fire giving everyone more time to get out if a fire starts," he said.
Ashes must be disposed of carefully.
"They have been known to set fire to domestic oil tanks, solid fuel stores or timber decking," he said.
In the event of an emergency, call 112 or 999.