Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths, especially during winter months. Each year from 2013-2015, an average of 46,000 home heating fires occurred in the United States, causing $506 million in property losses, reports FEMA. And according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about half of those fires occurred during December, January, and February.
Follow the steps below to prevent heating disasters in your home:
Santa Needs A Clean Chimney + Fireplace
Hire a trained professional to clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney every year
Keep the area in front of your fireplace clear of paper, debris, and holiday decorations.
If your fireplace doesn't have a glass door, use a wire mesh screen. This will prevent flaming logs from rolling out of the fireplace or sparks from flying out and causing a fire.
Use dry, seasoned wood to start fires. Wet wood burns slowly, creating more smoke, which condenses on the inside of the chimney and causes an increase in creosote deposits, which cause chimney fires.
Never use combustible materials or liquids to start a fire, such as newspaper. The flames can get out of hand very quickly.
Install a chimney cap to prevents unwanted animals and birds from nesting in your chimney.
Follow the Three-Foot Rule with Space Heaters + Fireplaces
Space heaters accounted for more than 43 percent U.S. home heating fires and 85 percent of home heating fire deaths between 2011 and 2015, according to the NFPA.
Keep anything that can burn, such as curtains, rugs, or blankets, at least three feet away from heating equipment, like space heaters and fireplaces.
Designate a three-foot “kid zone” around open fireplaces and space heaters.
Purchase a space heater with an emergency sensor that automatically shuts off if it overheats or tips over.
Other Home Heating Safety Tips
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom and sleeping area of your house. Make sure there are alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month, and replace batteries at least once or twice per year.
Never use your oven to heat your home.
Contact a professional to inspect your furnace and clean all the ducts. Remember to change your furnace filter every month during winter months, and remove all flammable material from around your furnace.
Make sure your space heater is off and the fire is out inside your fireplace before leaving your home or going to bed.
Plug only 1 heat producing appliance (such as a space heater or portable radiator) into one electrical outlet at a time.
Make Sure You’re Covered with Home Insurance Despite our best efforts, home heating accidents can and will happen. In the event of a home fire, it is vital to have reliable insurance coverage that will protect you and your family, and a trusted local insurance agent you can call. Make sure your home is properly protected with homeowners insurance from Cushman. Follow these tips to keep your home safe this winter and to avoid home heating disasters. If you have more questions about how to protect your home and loved ones, a Cushman Insurance Group agent is here to help.
Visit our website to connect with one today: http://bit.ly/2JlrZWW