With record low temperatures being recorded all across the United States, it is important for people to remember how to stay safe while also staying warm. Space heaters, fireplaces, and even standard in-home heaters can pose significant fire hazards when in use. In 2016 alone, house fires killed 2,735 people and injured an additional 10,750, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Please ensure your safety by reviewing the following tips.
Be sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. If you have not done so recently, check the smoke alarms’ batteries and make sure they are in working order.
Some smoke alarms come equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. If yours do not or if you are unsure, you can purchase a reliable carbon monoxide detector for about $20.
Have a working CO detector within 15 feet of each sleeping area of your home.
Do not use gas or electric ranges or ovens to heat your home. Not only will they be inefficient heaters, they can also be dangerous.
When using a fireplace or portable heater, keep combustible materials including newspapers, furniture, and clothes at least three feet from the heat source. Never place portable heaters at the bottom of a stairway as they may block an escape route in the event of a fire.
For portable heaters, check all cords for cracks, exposed wires, or loose connections. Do not overload electrical sockets or use power strips when using a portable heater.
Kerosene heaters can only use approved K-1 kerosene. Do NOT use gasoline!
When refilling a kerosene heater, avoid over filling and never refill the heater indoors or while it is still hot. Keep kerosene heaters away from flammable items or ignitable liquids.
While you should always practice regular reviews of your fire escape route, it takes special precedence in the winter. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency and ensure all windows and doors are in working order.