Heat up your home safely with OKC’s heating safety tips

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Space heater safety

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Keeping you and your family sufficiently warm when ice falls outside can prove to be difficult and while portable space heaters can help generate heat,  the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding the public that they do present potential fire hazards and must be used with caution.

According to NFPA’s latest U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, which was released today, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. More than half (53 percent) of all home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.

“Space heaters can be effective tools for providing added warmth at home, but it’s critical that people follow basic precautions to ensure that they’re used safely,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division.

December, January and February are the leading months for home heating fires so OKC has provided a list of safety tips to help keep you and your family safe during the colder months.

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from the heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood-stove or portable heater.
  • Have a three-foot ‘kid-free’ zone around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment, according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimney’s cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the  manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them into a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

For more information on heating safety along with many other winter safety tips visit the ok.gov website.

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