The National Fire Protection Association reports that, “one-half of heating fires are reported in the months of December, January and February.” With that being said, and the fact that the Wisconsin winter weather will be here for a few more months, we found it fitting to go over some home heating safety tips.
To start, take a look at your main source of heating in your home. Most homes are heated by use of natural gas, electricity, propane, fuel oil or wood. Only about 3% of homes in the United States do not have or do not use heating equipment-that just doesn’t work in Wisconsin!
Whatever your main source of heating may be, make sure it is properly installed by a professional and is up to code. Heating systems should be cleaned and inspected on a yearly basis to ensure safe use. Along with cleaning and inspection, make sure your home is equipped with working smoke and CO detectors. These detectors should be checked on a monthly basis.
If you use natural gas and happen to smell gas in your home, do not turn anything on. Leave your home and call for help immediately. If you use a wood burning fireplace, make sure it has a proper door or screen covering to keep sparks and ashes inside the fireplace.
If you need to use portable heaters in your home, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Portable heaters should be kept at least 3 feet away from anything flammable including items such as rugs, curtains, furniture, etc. Make sure the portable heater is placed on a level, flat surface and is plugged directly into the wall. Do not use extension cords or power strips with portable heaters as they could overheat and start a fire. Make sure to turn off portable heaters when you leave the room, leave your home or go to sleep. Never use a kitchen oven as a source of heat. Do not leave children unattended near any source of heat that they can get to.
No matter what type of heating system you use in your home, make sure you are using the proper precautions. Take action immediately if your system needs cleaning or inspection. Be proactive in keeping your home safe and warm!