More fires occur during the winter months than at any other time. Fortunately, taking simple precautions can prevent most fires. Follow the safety tips below to help ensure your safety:
· Put at least three feet of empty space between heaters and everything else.
· Vacuum and clean the dust and lint from all heaters.
· If the cord gets hot, frayed or cracked, have the heater serviced.
· Never use extension cords with portable electric heaters.
· Turn off portable heaters when leaving or sleeping.
· An adult should always be present when anyone is using a space heater around children.
· Make sure your portable electric heater is UL approved and has a tip-over shut off function.
Woodstove and Fireplace Safety
· Have a certified chimney sweep clean and inspect your fireplace.
· Place ashes outdoors in a covered metal container at least three feet away from anything that burns.
· To prevent flue fires, burn dry, well-seasoned wood.
· Always use a fireplace screen made of sturdy metal or heat-tempered glass. If children are present, use a special child-guard screen.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible killer. You cannot see or smell it. A generator's exhaust contains poisonous CO, which can kill you in a matter of minutes. Follow these important generator safety tips:
· Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage, shed or other partially enclosed space, even if doors and windows are open.
· Place portable generators outside only, far away from the home. Keep the generator away from openings to the home, including doors, windows, and vents.
· Read the label on the generator and the owner's manual, and follow the instructions.
· Install CO alarms with battery backup in the home outside each sleeping area.
· Get to fresh air immediately if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy. CO poisoning from exposure to generator exhaust can quickly lead to incapacitation and death.
· Be sure generator fuel is properly and safely stored.
· Always refuel the generator outdoors and away from any ignition sources.
· If you choose to have a generator permanently connected to your home's electrical system, make sure a licensed electrician installs it and be sure to notify your electric company.
· Place candles in sturdy, fireproof candleholders where they cannot be knocked over.
· Make sure all candles are out before going to bed or leaving the house.
· Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of children's reach.
Smoke Alarms and Home Escape Plans
· Install smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom.
· Test and vacuum your smoke alarms each month to make sure they are working.
· Smoke alarms 10 years old or older need to be replaced with new units.
· Prepare by knowing two ways out of every room.
· Practice your escape plan with your whole family at least twice a year.
· Do not attempt to go back into a burning home.