Did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths and that half of those types of fires are reported in December, January, or February?
"I hope everyone had a great Christmas Holiday and a Happy New Year," said Athens Fire Marshal Lance West. "Due to a prediction of another winter storm, we want everyone to be prepared through February."
With a few simple safety tips and precautions, you can prevent most heating fires from happening. Be warm and safe this winter!
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month.