It’s that time of the season where most of our households are grazed with heating devices. As much as there is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace, it can pose a threat too. Heating equipment are one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening.
1. Electric heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. If an extension cord is necessary, use the shortest possible heavy-duty cord of 14-gauge wire or larger. Always check and follow any manufacturer’s instructions pertaining to the use of extension cords.
2. Make sure you place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor).
3. Keep the electric heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials, and keeping children and pets away from space heaters.
4. Make sure that you turn off the heater when going to sleep or leaving the area.
5. Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory.
1. Have a smoke alarm with fresh batteries on each level of the house, inside every bedroom, and outside the bedrooms in each sleeping area. In addition, have a carbon monoxide alarm outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area.
2. Make sure the space heater is correctly rated for the home. An over sized heater could deplete the available oxygen, causing excess carbon monoxide to be produced.
3. Keep a window in the room open at least one inch and keeping doors open to the rest of the house to ensure proper ventilation.
4. Having gas and kerosene space heaters inspected annually to ensure proper operation;
5. Do not use unvented gas space heaters where prohibited by local codes.