Post by Tricia Tomson
As the fall and winter seasons approach, it is a good idea to refresh your memory on keeping your family safe – especially when it comes to heating your home.
This is the time of year when we turn on our central heating units on for the first time in months, start a fire in the fireplace, have a bonfire in the backyard, and use heating devices such as space heaters.
Some things to remember to keep your family safe:
- Get your central heating system cleaned, inspected and serviced before using it.
- Make sure that you have plenty of fully functioning carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed in your home. This is a good time to replace the batteries as well.
- Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney specialist. For more information on fireplace safety, please visit http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/heating/fireplace.shtm
- Make sure candles are placed on level surfaces, away from combustibles and out of reach of children and pets. Never leave candles unattended.
- Make sure you have a fire escape plan for the family and practice!
- Have fire extinguishers nearby and accessible.
- Make sure bonfires are contained and young children are kept at a safe distance.
- Space heaters should only be used as a supplemental heating source. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths. Click here for more information on tips for safely using space heaters.
Fall is a wonderful time, when the nights start to cool and the days are still mild. The leaves start changing colors, football begins, children are back in school, and the excitement of the holidays fast approaching creates a fun family atmosphere. Enjoy this time of year, but also use it as a reminder to do those things you need to do to keep your family safe.
Do you have a family fire escape plan in place? How did you create it?