December, January, and February are the deadliest months for home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). And, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire deaths. That’s why it’s improtant for you and your loved ones to take extra precautions during the winter.
Thinking about buying a space heater?
The NFPA recommends that you make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory. Install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions of have it professionally installed by one of our licensed contractors. If you have an electric-powered space heater, plug it into an outlet with sufficient capacity.
Leaving your home for a little while?
Turn OFF your space heater whenever the room is unoccupied or when manufacturer’s instructions say they should be turned off. Portable space heaters are easy to knock over in the dark. Turn them off when you go to bed, or at least make sure they are placed in well lit, low traffic areas.
Using a fireplace or wood stove?
Use only dry, seasoned wood to avoid the build-up of creosote, an oily deposit that easily catches fire and accounts for most chimney fires. Use only paper or kindling wood, not a flammable liquid, to start a fire. Do not use artificial logs in wood stoves.
Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. If you are lucky enough to have a working fireplace, you probably also have hardwood flooring that be quick to light!
Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, that the venting is kept clear and unobstructed, and that the exit point is properly sealed around the vent. This is to make sure that deadly carbon monoxide does not build up in the home.
Install a carbon monoxide and fire detector in your home and make sure you test the alarms regularly. If you plan to sell in the near future, it will be important these are in working order before you are able to close.