With cold air approaching, The National Fire Protection Association is reminding homeowners about the dangers of household heating:
The use of things like portable space heaters, wood burning stoves and fireplaces will be used to warm your home and believe it or not, it can be dangerous. In fact, the misuse of these items happens to be the number one leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States according to the NFPA. Fire isn’t the only risk, carbon monoxide poisoning may occur as well. If you warm-up your vehicles in a garage or have a generator running in an attached garage may produce a dangerous amount of CO. Generators should be running outside the garage. In 2010, the NFPA reported that they received an average of nine calls per hour on non-fire CO incidents. The NFPA encourages you to install and maintain CO alarms and following instructions when installing stoves or gas heaters.
Other safety tips to keep you warm this winter:
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimneys and heating equipment.
- Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
- Place a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Dispose cooled ashes in a metal container a safe distance from the home.
- Remove your vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it, even if the garage doors are open.
- Check vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of any snow build-up.
- Test smoke and CO alarms monthly.