Monday, January 5, 2015

Heating Your Home Safely - Space Heaters

Looks like things are going to get a little "chilly" around here the next several days!

With cold weather upon us, it is a good time to remind everyone of some simple steps to help prevent a heating related fire in your home.  Portable space heaters can quickly warm up a cold room, but they have been the cause of many serious home fires. Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn and follow all manufacturer instructions.

Below, please find a short video as well as safety tips related to space heaters.  According to the United States Fire Administration, space heaters cause one-third of home heating fires and 4 out of 5 home heating fires deaths.

Electric Space Heaters
  • Place heaters at least three feet away from objects such as bedding, furniture and drapes. Never use heaters to dry clothes or shoes. Do not place heaters where towels or other objects could fall on the heater and start a fire. 
  • If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry an amp load. TIP: Choose an extension cord the same size or larger than the appliance electrical cord. 
  • Be certain that your heater is placed on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, not on rugs or carpets. 
  • Use heaters on the floor. Never place heaters on furniture, since they may fall, dislodging or breaking parts in the heater, which could result in a fire or shock hazard. 
  • Keep all heaters in safe working conditions. Never operate a defective heater. 
  • Avoid using electrical space heaters in bathrooms or other areas where they may come in contact with water. 
While we do not recommend using Kerosene or propane fueled space heaters we provide the below tips: 
  • Be sure your heater is in good working condition. Inspect exhaust parts for carbon buildup. Be sure the heater has an emergency shut off in the event the heater is tipped over. 
  • Never use fuel burning appliances without proper room venting. Burning fuel (coal, kerosene, or propane, for example) can produce deadly fumes. 
  • Use ONLY the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer. NEVER introduce a fuel into a unit not designed for that type fuel. 
  • Keep kerosene, or other flammable liquids stored in approved metal containers, in well ventilated storage areas, outside of the house. 
  • NEVER fill the heater while it is operating or hot. When refueling an oil or kerosene unit, avoid overfilling. DO NOT use cold fuel for it may expand in the tank as it warms up. 
  • Refueling should be done outside of the home (or outdoors). Keep children, pets and clothing away from heaters. 
  • When using a fuel burning appliance in the bedroom, be sure there is proper ventilation to prevent a buildup of carbon monoxide.

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