With cold weather quickly approaching, now is the time to remember some of your basic safety principles. The Electrical Safety Foundation International offers the following tips to keep you safe as you begin bringing out heaters:
- Keep all furniture, draperies, and other household objects at least three feet from the in-wall fan heaters and 12 inches from baseboard heaters. Keep portable space heaters at least three feet way from all flammable materials.
- Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet; do not use an extension cord.
- If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone from inadvertently turning it back on.
Fireplaces can be romantic and cozy yet they can be extremely hazardous if you do not exercise proper caution. The most important step is to be certain that your fireplace was constructed for actual use, not just for decoration. If installing a factory made fireplace, make sure that you have adequate heat barriers and you aren’t putting it near anything combustible.
If you plan on using your fireplace regularly, you should have your chimney cleaned annually, and ensure that it is clear of leaves, pine needles and any other debris. You should never use flammable liquids to ignite a fire, nor burn any cardboard, trash or debris in your fireplace. Always use a screen around the fireplace to keep sparks from flying out. Never leave your fire unattended, and be certain the flames are completely out before retiring for the night or whenever leaving the house. Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and place smoke alarms on every level of your home. By following these handy tips you should be able to enjoy a warm cozy winter in front of your fireplace, and save on your heating bill.