Home fires can be extremely devastating, and they happen each year to residents of New Jersey during the cold winter months. This is because each year, home heating equipment causes more than 60,000 fires, and fire fighters and paramedics are urging homeowners to protect themselves by remembering a few basic home heating safety tips that can save you your home, and your life this winter!

– Make sure that your home heating system is serviced and working properly before the first frost of the year. This will prevent any mishaps when you first turn on the system.

– Have working smoke detectors in every sleeping area of the home or any living area. This is vital because if a smoke detector doesn’t work, it could mean life or death during a home fire.

– Have working carbon monoxide detectors in your home or apartment, especially if you have any gas appliances, liquid fueled heaters, or a fire place. Testing these often is also a good idea to ensure that they still work.

NEVER use your oven to try and heat your home. That is just a fire waiting to happen.

– If you have space heaters, keep them at least 3 feet away from household items such as drapes, furniture, clothing, and upholstery.

– Use your space heater as only a supplementary source of heat, these are not meant to replace the heating system in your home.

– You should never really use an extension cord when using a space heater unless it is absolutely necessary.

– Inspect the heaters cord periodically to look and make sure there is no frayed wiring or damaged insulation, and you should never use a space heater with a damaged cord.

– Check for a secure/plug or outlet, if the plug becomes very hot it might mean that the outlet may need to be replaced by a qualified electrician and could be the sign of a potential home wiring issue.

– Heaters should always be placed on a flat and leveled surface, and they should never be placed on furniture since they could fall and become damaged, or they could also break parts in the heater.

– Unless the specific heater is designed to go outdoors or in bathrooms, you should never use them in damp or wet areas.

– Make sure to look and make sure that the heater has a UL mark, meaning that this object has met the safety standards.

– If you currently maintain a liquid fueled space heater, use only the fuel recommended by the manufacturers guide, the wrong fuel could burn hotter than the equipment was designed for and cause a serious fire.

– When you’re refueling your heater, turn it off and let it cool down before completely adding the fuel, and always wipe away spills immediately.

Updated: November 4, 2014 — 6:35 pm

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