The other day, I was cleaning his house when I found a one-inch piece of charcoal burnt into one of my couch cushions! It came from a piece of wood that popped from my fireplace to the couch. While all that little chunk of ember did was burn a hole in the furniture, my house could have gone up in flames! I am thankful that all I have to do is turn the couch cushion around to hide the burn mark!
Most home fires happen during the winter months than any other time of year, when the cozy warmth of a fireplace is at its most inviting. Not only are fires a danger, space heaters are often used to heat rooms that need an extra boost; plus, home heating devices can produce an abundance of deadly carbon monoxide gas.
Seniors aged 65 and older are three times more likely to die or be injured in a house fire than other age groups. Not only that, but if you live in a newer home, reports are saying you may have less time to escape a fire because of synthetics. Here are some important home heating safety tips to remember:
1) Check Your Chimney and Fireplace for Hazards
Have the chimney flue pipe checked each year if you or your loved one uses a wood-burning fireplace. Make sure that there is a screen or glass in front of the fireplace to catch any wild sparks or moving logs. Keep flammable objects such as stockings and curtains away from the fireplace when in use.
2) Get the Proper Fire Extinguisher
Get an ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher for your home, read the manual so you and your loved ones know how to use it, and store it in a place where it is easily accessible in case of a fire. OSHA gives some helpful tips for the workplace, hut they can apply to your home as well.
3) Check On Smoke and CO Alarms
Make sure each room has a smoke detector, especially the kitchen, living room, and all places where it’s most likely a fire will start. You need CO detectors outside each sleeping area, so they can wake you up in the event of a carbon monoxide outbreak; CO is at its most deadly when you are asleep since you are not alert to get out of the house. Check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure all batteries have been replaced. Install additional detectors if you find areas without them.
4) Remember Space Heater Safety!
Remember that space heaters need space! Anything that can burn should be kept at least three feet away from the heater. If you’re looking to buy a new space heater get one that automatically shuts off if the heater falls over in case of an accident.