Tips for Fire Safety this Home Heating Season
I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad we’re not in Buffalo.
Fayetteville or Buffalo; Buffalo or Fayetteville: It sure is cold outside. And it’s just going to get colder. And when it does, North Carolinians everywhere will begin cranking up their electric furnaces; sparking wood-burning stoves; and lighting fireplaces. Whatever your chosen heating method, Blanton’s Heating & Air hopes you’ll stay warm and cozy this winter — and safe.
- Establish a three-foot kid- and flammables-free zone around any and all heating equipment, including but not limited to furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, and portable space heaters.
- Never use your oven as a source of heat. Not only does this present a fire hazard, but the fumes released could be toxic.
- Have your chimney or woodstove inspected and cleaned each year.
- Never use kerosene or any other accelerant to light your fireplace.
- Turn off all portable space heaters before leaving the room or going to bed.
- A sturdy screen positioned on the hearth will protect you, your family, and your belongings from flying sparks and embers.
- Check the batteries in your smoke alarms (There’s one on every level of your home.) monthly.
- Never use propane in a kerosene heater nor vice versa. Trust us. You don’t want to see what would happen if you did.
- Burn your wood stove twice a day, every day, for 15–30 minutes at a time. Doing so will prevent a build of creosote. (What the heck is creosote? A wood preservative made from coal tar, that’s what.)
- Never discard hot ashes from your fireplace or wood stove inside your home. They should instead be stored in a fireproof metal container, outside.
- Don’t use space heaters in the bathroom or anywhere else it might come into contact with water or condensation.
- Call Blanton’s Heating and Air to inspect your furnace annually. Doing so will only ensure that your unit stays in prime operation condition. The certified HVAC experts at Blanton’s work hard to fix the minor problems before they turn into something bigger.
Even when you do everything right, fire can happen. When it does, it’ll pay to be prepared. Identify all viable exits, and develop a family emergency exit plan.
Oh, and there’s one more thing worth noting as the holidays draw closer: Never burn Christmas tree branches, other types of treated wood, or wrapping paper in your fireplace or wood stove.