We have enjoyed a few warm days over the past couple of weeks, but Winter isn’t finished yet. If you recall, we have had some our worst/best snow during March and April.

One of the main concerns during the cold months and during power outages is keeping the family and pets warm. The major causes of home heating fires are poorly maintained systems, placing space heaters too close to combustible items and flaws in construction and installation of the heating units.

SAFELY HEAT YOUR HOME BY FOLLOWING THESE GUIDELINES:

Have a qualified technician install all new equipment.

Have a qualified professional inspect your equipment annually. The inspection will ensure that the system is maintained in proper working order and identify any parts that require repair or replacement.

Schedule regular cleaning of your furnace and hot water heater, including the chimney and the chimney connectors.

Have your wood burning stove or fireplace, including the chimney and connectors, inspected every year by a professional.

Keep a glass or metal screen in front of fireplace openings to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out.

BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP, BE SURE YOUR FIREPLACE FIRE IS OUT!

ELECTRIC SPACE HEATERS

When purchasing an electric space heater, look for heaters with automatic shut off features.

GIVE SPACE HEATERS SPACE

Heaters should be placed at least three feet from any combustible material, such as bedding and furniture.

Never use an extension cord with a space heater.

Inspect the electrical cord for damage before each use.

Keep young children and pets away from space heaters.

Only use equipment that has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Label.

Avoid using electric space heaters in bathrooms or other areas where they may come in contact with water.

Turn off/unplug the space heater whenever you leave the room or go to sleep.

Never use the kitchen oven or gas range to heat your home or apartment. Such improper use could cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to accumulate, causing severe illness and possible death.

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