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Westmoreland Volunteer Fire Department
101 station rd
westmoreland, NY 13490
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|WINTER HEATING SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR HOME|
|Wed. Jan 23rd 2013|
The high cost of home heating fuels and utilities have caused many Americans to search for alternate sources of home heating. The use of wood burning stoves is growing and space heaters are selling rapidly, or coming out of storage. Fireplaces are burning wood and man-made logs. All of these methods of heating may be acceptable. They are however, a major contributing factor in residential fires. Many of these fires can be prevented. The following fire safety tips can help you maintain a fire safe home this winter.
- 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 case the heater is tipped over.
- Never use fuel-burning appliances without proper room venting. Burning fuel (kerosene, coal, or propane, for example) produces deadly fumes.
- Use ONLY the fuel recommended by the heater manufacture. 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 its operating or hot. When refueling an oil or kerosene unit, avoid overfilling. Use caution with cold fuel for it may expand in the tank as it warms up.
- Refueling should be done outside of the home.
- Keep young children safely away from space heaters - especially when they are wearing nightgowns or other loose clothing that can easily ignite.
- When using a fuel-burning appliance in the bedroom, be sure there is proper ventilation to prevent a buildup of carbon monoxide.
Wood Stoves and Fireplaces
- Wood stoves should have adequate clearance (36'') from combustible surfaces, and proper floor support and protection.
- Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used for some time.
- Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
- Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening, to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out, unwanted material from going in, and help prevent the possibility of burns to occupants.
- Don't use excessive amounts of paper to build roaring fires in fireplaces. It is possible to ignite creosote in the chimney by overbuilding the fire.
- Never burn charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.
- Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire to heat up again and will force toxic carbon monoxide into the house.
- Be sure all furnace controls and emergency shutoffs are in proper working condition.
- Leave furnace repairs to qualified specialists. Do not attempt repairs yourself unless you are qualified.
- Inspect the walls and ceiling near the furnace and along the chimney line. If the wall is hot or discolored, additional pipe insulation or clearance may be required.
- Keep trash and other combustibles away form the heating system.
Other Fire Safety Tips
- Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
- Never use a range or an oven as a supplementary heating device. Not only is it a safety hazard, it can be a source of potentially toxic fumes.
- If you use an electric heater, do not overload the circuit. Only use extension cords that have the necessary rating to carry the amp load.
- Avoid using electric space haters in bathrooms, or other areas where they may come in contact with water.
- Be sure every level of your home has a WORKING SMOKE DETECTOR, and be sure to check and clean it on a monthly basis
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