Virginia and D.C. residents are no strangers to cold winter weather and the home heating procedures that come along with it. However, many are ill-prepared when it comes to one thing: practicing heater safety in order to prevent fires.
But before assuming you already know how to protect your home, consider this: improper use of heating equipment contributed to 56,000 fires that resulted in 470 deaths, 1,490 injuries and $1 billion in direct property damage -- just between 2009 and 2013. Those are some scary numbers.
3 Heater Safety Tips That Will Prevent a House Fire
Fires occur more in winter months than in any other time of the year. Before starting up your home furnace this season, make sure you're following these three heater safety tips.
1. Don't use an extension cord with space heaters.
Electric space heaters are great -- they provide an affordable way to heat just one room or supplement an inadequate heating system. If you do choose to heat your house with electric space heaters, make sure to plug them directly into the wall rather than use an extension cord, as they can overheat and start a fire.
2. Keep your heater clear of clutter.
Keep the space around any vents or radiators clear, particularly of items that are combustible. Hanging clothes to dry on your heater is always a bad idea, and placing furniture in front of your heater can cause the heat to become trapped and build up to dangerous levels.
3. Change your detector batteries regularly.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors only work when they're properly installed and checked regularly. Make sure the batteries in your detectors are fresh and that the devices themselves are still working. If your smoke alarm is over 10 years old or it does not sound when tested, change it immediately. It's also a good idea to make sure you have an alarm installed in every room on every level of the home, including the basement.
To ensure maximum protection against house fires, it's best to have your heater inspected by a DC heating repair specialist. To have your furnace, boiler or heater system checked, schedule an appoint with the experts at John C. Floor today.