Heating Your Home
If you have a fire in your home, SERVPRO is there to help. But we also want to help you prevent fires in your home.
Did you know that heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)? Cold temperatures during these winter months have led to people frequently using their heaters. Half of these heating equipment fires predictably take place in the winter months of December, January, and February when heating equipment is used the most.
Abiding by the following safety measures will keep yourself and your family safe from any potential dangers of using heaters in your home.
Stay Three Feet Away
One way to stay safe when heating your home is to keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment. That includes a furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
Enforce a Three-Foot Rule for Children
The curiosity of children can cause a problem if they focus their attention on one of these heating options. Wanting to explore the equipment, the child could accidentally catch on fire or start a fire in the house. Therefore it’s a good idea to have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around all open fires and space heaters.
Don’t Use Your Oven As a Heater
Never attempt to use your oven to heat your home. The inefficacy of an oven as it pertains to heating could cause it to go out or not burn well which could potentially lead to carbon monoxide poisoning endangering the lives of your whole family.
Use Only Qualified Professionals When Installing Heating Equipment
Make sure a qualified professional install your heating equipment. An inexperienced person installing your space heater, water heater, or central heating equipment could lead to serious mistakes that could potentially cause a fire. Hiring qualified professionals will ensure that the person installing your equipment adheres to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
Get Your Annual Chimney Inspection
It’s important to have your heating equipment or chimney cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. In early 2000, the NFPA set a new standard that ensures that inspections include a thorough inspection and cleaning. Based on the purpose of the inspection (annual inspection, system change or real estate transaction, potential hazard) the inspector will inspect on one of three levels. The thoroughness of the inspection will increase at each level of the inspection.
Never Leave Portable Heaters On When Leaving a Room
Always turn off and unplug portable heaters when leaving a room or going to bed. Portable heaters can short out while you’re away and start a fire before you return.
Make Sure to Use Correct Fuel
Use the right kind of fuel when using fuel-burning space heaters. The manufacturer will specify which fuel that specific space heater will need. Using the wrong kind of fuel could cause the fuel to burn hotter than the equipment was designed for and could cause a fire in your home.
Use a Fireplace Screen
It’s important to make sure that your fireplace has a screen in front of it. Without a screen, sparks could fly into the room and start a fire. Also, if you plan to dispose of ashes in a metal container, ashes should be cooled prior to entering a metal container. The container should also be kept a safe distance away from your home.
Test Smoke Alarms Monthly
If a fire starts in your home in Malabar, FL, a smoke alarm can save your life. Smoke spreads quickly and a properly working smoke alarm will give you enough time to get out. So make sure you test your smoke alarms each month. Also, make sure to replace your smoke detectors once every ten years.
When burning anything larger than a candle, make sure to provide good ventilation. You can do this by opening windows, doors, or fireplace fumes. Good ventilation will substantially reduce the amount of smoke that can be harmful to those in the home.
On cold days heating is a must. But without the use of certain precautions, it can be a very dangerous decision. By following the safety measures highlighted by the NFPA, you can ensure that you will be warm and safe during the cold winter months.
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