Spring is finally in sight but we still have a few cold months ahead of us. In the cold weather, it can be nice to cozy up by the fire or to use heating devices in the home such as space or kerosene heaters or electric blankets. With any heat source there is always the risk of a fire. To avoid home fires and keep your household safe, follow these 6 steps:
1. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check them regularly.
Be sure to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors positioned strategically around the house - at the tops and bottoms of all stairs, outside of bedrooms, and on every level of the home. Check your detectors once a month.
2. Check your exits.
Be sure to have at least two ways to exit your home. None of the exits should ever be blocked in case a quick escape is necessary.
3. Keep a charged phone close to your bed.
This way you can quickly make a call to the fire department and emergency services in case of a fire.
4. Keep heating devices 3 feet away from anything flammable.
This is because heating devices such as space or kerosene heaters can get so hot, the radiation can cause nearby items to combust.
5. Don’t overload an electrical circuit.
Especially when it comes to heating appliances, be sure to plug into different circuits so as not to overload one. Also, these appliances should not be plugged into extension cords, but rather into the circuit directly.
6. Clean the chimney.
Make sure the chimney is cleaned professionally once a year to avoid build up which can trap heat. When disposing of ashes, do so at least 10 feet away from the house and not even in the basement as this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
For more comprehensive information about fire safety for your home, reach out to your local fire department. Stay safe everyone! Spring will be here soon.
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