Winter season holidays, celebrations and fun abound, however we may all need reminders about safety issues particular to this season!
Heating the Home
Charming and cozy, who doesn’t love a fireplace? There are important precautions, however, necessary before lighting a fire in your fireplace:
Get your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional before using it. Buildup in the chimney can certainly cause a fire. Only a professional service can guarantee proper removal of chimney dirt and buildup.
NEVER use the following in your fireplace:
- Flammable liquids.
- Evergreen trimmings or boughs.
- Wrapping paper, cardboard, trash, or debris.
These materials can cause intense flames that can start chimney fires or send sparks into the room. Some of these materials may even cause toxic smoke. When a fire is lit in your fireplace, ALWAYS use a fireplace screen or door to keep sparks and embers from coming into the room.
Portable Heaters & Space Heaters
Only use heaters that are in safe working condition. Heaters must be three feet away from anything that could catch fire, including paper, clothing, and furniture. Remember, heaters are not clothes dryers! Using them as such can cause a fire!
Small children and pets should not be left alone with portable and space heaters. Portable and space heaters should not be left on in rooms unattended.
Forced Air Heaters/Furnaces
Forced air heaters and furnaces are generally safe but make sure your furnace is not accessible to your children, that it is properly installed with proper ventilation and space around it. Floor vents can be hazardous: they get hot for little fingers if they are metal and the heat is blowing, little fingers can get stuck in them and injured and crafty little fingers have been known to remove them and throw things into the ducts (this can be very dangerous—make sure your vent covers are secured!).
Adapted and excerpted from the University of Florida’s http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu