There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the
fireplace. But did you know that heating appliances are a leading cause of home
fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most
heating fires from happening.
Remember to keep all combustible items (paper, cloth, wood, plastics) a minimum
of three feet away from the heating unit. This includes steam type radiator heat,
electric baseboard heat, electric portable heaters and portable oil and or gas heaters.
- Confirm that the portable electric heater has a "tip over" protection device that
will cut off the unit if it falls. If the unit does not cut off immediately, dispose
of it. Always use Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved devices.
- Inspect the electrical cord and components of the portable electric heating unit.
If the cord is frayed or damaged, it is best to discard the unit than attempt to
repair. If finances dictate that option as unacceptable, have an electrician or
someone skilled repair or better, replace the cord.
- Never leave a portable heater in operation that is unattended.
- Never go asleep with a portable heater in operation. Shut the unit down completely
and if electric, we suggest unplugging the unit from the wall receptacle.
- Never fuel a portable oil heating device inside.
- Never add fuel to a portable heating device that is hot to the touch. Allow the
unit to cool before adding the flammable liquid.
- Have the portable heating device serviced by a qualified person annually.
- Monthly check your smoke alarm. If you are using oil, gas, wood or coal as a primary
or secondary heat source, install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
- Never heat your home with charcoal or gas grills.
If you need help with your heating bill this winter call 336-722-8721 to speak with
someone about assistance.
For more information about heating safety, see
National Fire Protection Association.
NFPA Public Education Division and Mike King, Forsyth County Fire Marshal's Office