Baby it’s cold outside! We have temps in the teens locally and more in the forecast to come. Sometimes when it’s this cold the ol’ furnace just isn’t enough to keep you warm and you add supplemental heat. A lot of the time a supplemental heat source is a small electric or gas space heater or could even be a trusty fireplace. With all these cold temps it’s a good idea to be reminded of some heat safety tips.
Heating equipment which includes space heaters is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening.
- Proper placement of space heaters is critical.Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month.