Heating Your Home Safely
The change in season means an increase in the use of supplemental home heating, and an increase in home heating fires. An October 2013 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) using date from 2007-2011 reveals some sobering statistics:
• Space heaters accounted for 33% of home heating fires and 81% of home heating deaths.
• The leading factor contributing in home heating fires was failure to clean (primarily creosote) from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
• The leading factor contributing to ignition in 53% of fatal home heating fires was having flammable items too close to heating equipment.
With these statistics in mind, here are some tips for safe home heating:
• Always use protective screens to keep sparks and embers inside the firebox.
• Ensure the air inlet is free from debris and obstructions.
• Keep combustible decorations or furniture away from heat source.
• Burn only seasoned wood, never rubbish or scraps of treated lumber.
• Check the iron and steel components for cracks or degradation from the fire's heat and replace those that are bad.
• Close a dollar bill in the door at various spots around the frame. If you can pull it out easily the gaskets are won and should be changed.
• Set woodstoves on hearth rugs made of spark resistant material.
• Plug heaters directly into a wall socket and not into extension cords.
• Unplug heaters when they are not in use.
• Do not place heaters in walkways or in locations where they could be easily knocked over and ensure heaters are equipped with a tip-over switch.
• Keep clothing, furniture, draperies, paper and other items at least three feet away from the space heater.
• Use only electric heaters equipped with a thermostat or an automatic shut off switch.
• Do not hide cords under rugs or carpets. Placing anything on top of the cord could cause the cord to overheat, and can cause a fire.
• Leave appropriate and recommended amount of space surrounding a space heater.
The trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Sarpy County hope you have a safe and happy fall season.
If you have questions or need help, please call us 24x7 at 402-291-3355