As the weather begins to get colder, many people inevitably need to find ways to stay warm during the autumn and winter months. While heating equipment can be useful in keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, it is important to remember that these devices can sometimes pose a safety risk. The following are a few ways that you can reduce the risk of fire when heating your house.
1. Keep Chimneys and Fireplaces Clean and Supervised
If your home has a fireplace, this can be a convenient, and beautiful, way to provide warmth to the area. However, you need to be very careful when using this method. Loose embers can cause a fire that may begin to spread, so it is best to use fireplaces only when they are properly supervised. Keeping the area clean will reduce the chances of a chimney fire.
2. Plug Devices Into a Wall Outlet
While a power strip can be useful when you need to power many devices at once, these are best left to items that do not use a large amount of electricity. Plugging your heating equipment into a power strip can cause it to overheat, melt, and start a fire. Instead, always use a wall outlet for your heating devices. You may want to avoid plugging anything else into the same outlet as well.
3. Maintain Your HVAC System
Using a central heating system is often the safest option, but that does not mean it is without its own share of risks. When lint or dust begins to build up, it is possible that these materials could contribute to a fire. Damaged wires or heating parts can become a hazard as well. For this reason, it is important to have inspection and maintenance done regularly.
4. Keep the Area Around Devices Clear
No matter what kind of equipment you are using, you should be sure to always keep the surrounding area free of flammable materials. Liquids such as gasoline and alcohol are highly combustible and should be removed from the area. You should also avoid placing items such as papers, cloth and wood too close to your heaters. If you are using central heating, make sure there is nothing covering the vents.
5. Turn Off Devices Before Going Out or Sleeping
While the idea of returning home to a cold house or waking up to a chilly bedroom may not seem appealing, it is a much better choice than the alternative. If you are not around or awake to keep an eye on your devices, then it is best for you to turn them off. Unattended devices can overheat or create sparks that result in a fire. If you are not able to react quickly, then it could cause a large amount of damage to your home and can compromise the safety of you and your family.
While many home fires are the result of using heating equipment in the house, you do not need to be afraid to keep your house warm. If you take the right precautions, you can stay comfortable while remaining safe, no matter how you choose to heat your home.
partnered post • cc-licensed image by Dawn Peterson