Be Careful with Candles
Keep burning candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and never leave lit candles unattended. For safety’s sake, consider purchasing electric candles and saving the old-fashioned kind for emergencies.
Clean and Inspect Chimneys Yearly
Prevent carbon monoxide leaks and winter home fires by having your chimney cleaned and inspected each year. You can either have your chimney cleaned each spring after a winter of cozy fires or in the fall when you have your seasonal HVAC tune-up.
Practice Fireplace Safety
Few things are as lovely as a warm crackling fire. But don’t let the flames escape your fireplace. Use a sturdy glass or metal screen to keep sparks from flying out into your home.
Keep Flammables Away from Fire
Keep flammables at least three feet away from your fireplace, wood-burning stove or other source of heat. If you have a wood-burning stove, keep the doors closed unless you are adding wood or removing ashes.
Be Smart with Space Heaters
If you use space heaters to supplement your central heating, or in place of central heating, be smart with them. Use the right fuel for fuel-burning heaters. If you purchase electric space heaters, buy the ones with safety shut-offs that cause the heater to stop running if it’s tipped over. Radiant space heaters are the safest and cheapest to run.
Use Generators Outdoors
Portable generators can get your household through power outages, but for safety’s sake, always use them outdoors. In addition to being a fire hazard, portable generators can produce carbon monoxide. Keep them away from windows and as far from your home’s exterior walls as you can. You should also keep them away from shrubs, trees and other flammable foliage.
Don’t Heat Your Home with Your Kitchen Stove
When your furnace breaks down unexpectedly, it can be tempting to turn on the oven and open up the door to get some heat into the house. Doing so, however, can create a fire hazard and release carbon monoxide into your home. Running the burners for heat can be even more dangerous. Use space heaters, blankets, hot water bottles and warm clothing to keep warm during furnace breakdowns. Better yet, make sure to have your HVAC inspected each fall to prevent unexpected breakdowns.
Source: American Home Shield
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