Thread: Cold Weather Fire Safety
11-11-2009, 10:07 PM #1
Cold Weather Fire SafetyCold Weather Fire SafetyAbnormally cold weather can increase the threat of home fires due to improper use of alternate heating sources. To ensure your safety and prevent fires the Department of Community Affairs in conjunction with the Division of Fire Safety has put together the following cold weather fire safety information…
Space Heater Safety
All heaters are dangerous if not used properly, so electric heaters must be selected and used with care:
· All portable heaters should bear the mark of an independent testing laboratory indicating that the heater has met basic safety standards.
· Be sure to use a space heater according to the manufacturer's instructions.
· Only use heaters that are equipped with automatic safety switches that turn off the unit if it is tipped over accidentally.
· Check the cord before plugging in the heater; if frayed, worn or broken, do not use it.
· Never use an extension cord with a portable heater.
· Keep portable electric heaters away from sinks, tubs and other wet or damp places to avoid deadly electric shocks.
· Keep all space heaters at least three feet away from curtains, bedding, newspapers or anything that might burn.
· Never leave the heater unattended keep children and pets away and never leave the house or go to bed without turning off the heater.
· Do not hang items to dry above the heater.
Fireplace, Wood Burning Stoves & Kerosene Heaters
Safe and proper operation of these devices will help ensure your safety and protect your home from a devastating fire.
· Chimneys should be inspected annually by a professional service, and cleaned if necessary.
· Check the chimney for cracks or loose masonry, and for separation from the structure.
· Check the chimney flu-damper is opened fully before lighting the fire.
· Always have a metal mesh screen in front of your fireplace to help prevent hot embers from igniting near-by objects.
· Keep air inlets on stoves clear, and never restrict the flow of air into a fireplace.
· Only use seasoned wood (at least one year old) for burning.
· Follow the manufacturer's instructions when using synthetic logs.
· Never use any flammable liquid to start your fire.
· Before going to bed, make sure that the fire is out, and the damper is open. A closed damper, with live coals, can cause the coals to re-ignite, causing a release of carbon monoxide.
· Do not discard hot ashes in or near the house, nor in the vicinity of any combustible material.
· Be sure kerosene heaters bear the mark of an independent testing laboratory indicating that the heater has met basic safety standards.
· Inspect exhaust parts for carbon build-up, and other blockages.
· Be sure the heater has an emergency shut off in case the heater is tipped over and only use with adequate room ventilation; burning fuel produces deadly fumes.
· Use only the fuel recommended by the heater's manufacturer.
· Keep the kerosene, or other fuel, stored in an approved container, in a well ventilated area, and outside the house.
· Refuel the heater outside of your house.
· Never fill the heater while it is in-use, or still hot from use, and never overfill.
· Keep children and pets away from the heater.
Other Heating Safety Information
· Never use an oven; range top, or any other such device, for supplemental heating this will produce elevated levels of carbon monoxide.
· Be sure to have at least one working smoke detector, and one working carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home. These detectors should be inspected and cleaned, as necessary, on a monthly basis. Replace batteries at least twice a year.
· Develop a fire escape plan before a fire occurs. Be certain that all members of the household understand the plan and are able to carry out the plan in case of an emergency.
· Be sure the plan includes a predetermined meeting place outside the house.
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