Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fire Safe Heating Systems

This list is from the Fairfax County web site ... http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr/educate/fire_safe_heating_systems.htm.

Cold winter weather brings snowball battles, cozy evenings, and an increase in the use of home heating equipment. It's probably time to give your heating system a safety check. Heating equipment failures or malfunctions are one of the leading causes of all home fires. We can reduce the occurrence of these types of fires with a little preventative maintenance and some good fire safety habits.

The following are some tips for safety around heating systems:

  • Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a covered metal container outside and well away from the house.
  • If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have a licensed chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney at least once a year.
  • Place a glass or metal spark screen in front of the fireplace and install caps on chimneys.
  • Never use a flammable liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire or rekindle a small one.
  • Keep paper, clothing, trash, and other combustibles at least three feet away from your furnace, hot water heater, or wood-burning device.
  • Have a professional clean and check your heating system yearly. This may prevent a fire and will make your heating system more energy efficient.
  • Keep portable heaters away from curtains, beds, clothes, and children. Make sure there is at least three feet of clearance around the heater for proper ventilation.
  • Turn heaters off when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Never refuel the heater while it is operating or while it is still hot. Always refuel outside. Avoid overfilling.
  • Be sure your space heater has an emergency shut off in case the heater is tipped over.

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