Safety Guidelines for Fire Prevention This Winter
Photo: Gabor Tinz/Shutterstock.com
- Before firing up a wood stove or fireplace, have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned.
- Keep flammable objects at least three feet from a wood stove or fireplace.
- Never use flammable liquids to start or accelerate a fire in a fireplace or wood stove.
- Keep a glass or metal screen in front of a fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from flying out into the surrounding area.
- Never use excessive amounts of paper to overbuild a fire in fireplaces. That may ignite the creosote in the chimney.
- Make sure your fireplace fire is out before going to sleep.
- Before closing your fireplace damper, ensure the ashes are cool. Closing the damper will help the fire to heat up again and will force carbon monoxide into your home.
- If you use synthetic logs, follow the directions on the package. Use only one synthetic log at a time and never break one apart to quicken the fire.
- Discard cooled ashes in a tightly covered metal container. Store the container outside and away from the house.
- Have your furnace inspected to ensure that it’s in good working condition.
- Inspect the walls and ceiling near the furnace and along the chimney line. If the wall is hot or discolored, install additional pipe insulation.
- Check the flue pipe for holes and cracks. Soot along or around seams may signal a leak.
- Keep combustible items away from the heating systems.
Other Fire Safety Tips
- Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away as possible from your home to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.
- Never use a range or an oven for heating. Not only is it a safety hazard, but it can also be a source of carbon monoxide.
- If you use electric heaters, plug only one heater into a wall outlet at a time to avoid overloading the circuit.
- Avoid using electric heaters in bathrooms or other areas where water is frequently used.
- Regularly plan and practice your fire escape plan with your family. Establish two exits in each room.
- Use emergency escape ladders to exit through windows in case the primary escape route is blocked.
- If there is a fire hydrant near your home, keep it clear of snow to help the fire department locate it in case of a fire.
Law 31, instated in 2004, required that “building owners follow and retain evidence that safe work practices were used for all repair work.
Mell Goldman has been invited to join the Spirit of Huntington Art Center Board of Advisors as a member this coming year.
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