Duraflame log causes concern

  • By Jeanne Startzman For the Enterprise
  • Tuesday, December 9, 2008 10:54pm

The Edmonds Fire Department was dispatched to 82 calls in and around Edmonds the week Dec. 1-7, which brings this year’s call volume to 4,724. Medical crews evaluated 55 patients; fire crews responded to 27 incidents.

Fire logs

Many residents use their fireplaces this time of year to keep warm or to create a seasonal setting.

One incident this week involved two Duraflame logs. The call came in as “black smoke and flames” coming from the chimney of a two-story apartment complex. Fire crews found no signs of combustion in neighboring units or inside or outside the chimney. What caused the concern, however, was a tenant who had burned one firelog, then added a new log, which sent sparks flying around the fire box and up into the flue. If you burn artificial logs:

• Do not use standard artificial logs (wax and biomass) in your wood stove or fireplace insert. They are made for open hearth fireplaces.

• If you want to use artificial logs in your wood stove or fireplace insert, choose ones made from 100 percent compressed sawdust (no wax).

• Be sure to read the instructions on the logs and follow them carefully.

• Use one log at a time and don’t add another log until the fire is completely out.

• Never add an artificial log to a natural wood fire that is already burning. It could cause a flare-up.

• If you do want to add an artificial log to a wood fire, wait for two hours.

• Do not poke artificial logs because the flaming wax could stick to the poker and drip on the floor. Poking a log can also cause a flare-up.

Emotional well-being

An 86-year-old resident was evaluated for respiratory distress. She had been released from the hospital the day before for the same symptoms. The patient reported she felt anxious and lonely, but expected a relative to visit the next day.

This is an important time of year to regularly check on your elderly family members, friends, or neighbors. With cold weather and short days, people primarily stay indoors so you are less likely to notice if an older adult is not doing well.

Those who live independently are susceptible to loneliness and depression during the holidays. Depression not only prevents seniors from enjoying life, it can take a heavy toll on their health. If a senior you know appears to be suffering from diminished physical or emotional well-being, please try to contact one of their family members or call 9-1-1.

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