Winter Heating Smarts
The winter season is here, and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather.
Many use alternative heating sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood-burning stoves to keep their homes and workplaces cozy.
Did you know heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.
-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and 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.
-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.
-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
-Test smoke alarms monthly.