Winter storms and extreme cold put your heating system on overdrive. Fireplaces, space heaters and central heat are all fire risks, especially during the winter. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), December, January and February are notorious for heightened rates of home heating fires. Until spring melts away snow and freezing temperatures, heaters are necessary. That’s why it’s important to use them in conjunction with safety precautions. With the NFPA’s recommendations in mind, ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration compiled the following heating safety tips for your home in Westchester or Fairfield County.
The fireplace is the coziest form of heat in your home. There’s nothing better than curling up next to your fireplace with some hot chocolate on a cold winter day. However, it’s important to follow safety precautions when your fireplace is in use.
- Before lighting a fire, make sure your fireplace has been inspected and cleaned by a professional this year.
- Keep your fireplace screen door closed to contain sparks and ash.
- Dispose of ash correctly by keeping it in a metal bucket outside your home, away from any flammable items.
- Confirm that your fireplace is vented to the outdoors.
- Implement a clearing of three feet around an active fireplace.
Out of all commonly used heat sources, space heaters are most likely to cause a home heating fire. Central heat is safer but we all know some winter days are just too cold for that. When space heaters are necessary, rely on the following tips to keep your home safe.
- Use your space heater on a level surface away from any flammable items.
- Remember to turn off your space heater when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Keep children and pets three feet away from any heat source.
- Only plug space heaters directly into the wall. Extension cords or power strips can overheat causing a high fire risk.
- Ensure that your space heater has an automatic shutoff function in case it falls over.
No matter how many safety precautions you take, there is always a fire risk. Use carbon monoxide and fire detectors to protect the members of your household from sustaining fire related injuries.
- Install fire and carbon monoxide detectors in every room and on every floor of your home.
- A carbon monoxide detector should also be placed near your detached garage.
- Replace batteries as needed and test on a monthly basis.
- Meet with the members of your household and agree on escape routes and a meeting place in case an emergency occurs.
- If you smell gas in your home or near any heat source, evacuate and call 911.
- Gather an emergency kit with supplies you may need if you experience a fire disaster.
ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration provides fire damage restoration services for Westchester and Fairfield Counties. If you experience a winter heating fire, count on us to restore your peace of mind. Contact us anytime day or night all year round.