Even in the South, the winter months bring about many changes in your home. The heating system kicks on, you may use your fireplace or log-burning stove, and you prepare for the holidays by decorating and cooking holiday feasts. But did you know the winter holiday season is also the number 1 fire season and heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths?
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 150 Americans will die each year from accidental, non-fire related CO poisoning associated with consumer products. These products include faulty, improperly-used, or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters, and fireplaces. You can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a fire or CO casualty by being able to identify potential hazards and following the Charleston Fire Department's safety tips.
More than one-third of home fires occur during the months of December, January, and February. Most fires and injuries are preventable by taking precautions that can make the difference between a happy and safe holiday versus a holiday tragedy.
The following electrical fire safety tips can help you maintain a fire-safe home this winter season.
Electric Space Heaters - When purchasing an electric space heater, look for heaters with automatic shut-off features. Give space heaters space. Heaters should be placed at least three feet from any combustible material, such as bedding and furniture.
Never use the kitchen oven or gas range to heat your home or apartment. Such improper use could cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to accumulate, causing severe illness and possible death.
With the rising costs of heating energy, you may choose to use an electric blanket to help keep you warm on a cold winter's night. However, misused or damaged blankets can easily become an ignition source for a fire.
For a safe night's sleep, follow these recommendations for using electric blankets:
Electric blankets also present a burn risk to those who cannot feel heat or are unable to react appropriately. Therefore, never place an electric blanket on babies, small children or those with physical limitations that may prevent them from turning the control off or removing the blanket from their body.