Turn Up The Heat On Safety - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/8/04

Turn Up The Heat On Safety

More than 600 people die in their homes each year due to heating hazards, but an inspection of those heating elements could save your life.

First, we're going to start with the gas heater. Clean or replace filters periodically. Make sure the area around the heater is free of dirt, clutter of flammable materials. Finally, you need to check for cracks, holes or leaks. An odorless gas called carbon monoxide can leak through those cracks or holes. Carbon monoxide is potentially deadly. So, as an extra pre-caution install a carbon monoxide detector that will sound its alarm when co is high. If the detector does go off, get out of the house immediately and call 9-1-1.

Winterizing Your Home
As the cold weather months approach it's very important to prepare your house for the freezing temperatures. Here are some tips for around the home to save you time and money.

If you want even more heat, you may try a portable space heater. Every winter, the fire department responds to devastating fires, caused by miss-use of a space heater. Where you use the space heater is just as important as how you use it. You should place the heater on the floor, never on top a table, cabinet or other furniture. Three-feet is considered the safe zone when using a space heater. If the heater is placed three-feet away from curtains, mattresses or other items, it's less likely to catch anything on fire. When plugging the heater into the wall, check the cord for frays or broken wires. Avoid using an extension cord. If you must use one, make sure its the right wire and gauge size.

Now, moving to the one place it is safe to have a fire, the fireplace. The inspection starts with the chimney. You'll want it inspected for debris that could block the flow of smoke. Clear the hearth of debris, holiday decorations or other flammable materials. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire. Use seasoned hard-wood. Always use a metal-mesh screen while burning a fire.

Now, for the final inspection that is the safest solution of all, checking your smoke detector. At least one smoke detector should be located on every floor. Place the detector near the bedrooms, so you'll wake-up if smoke rises. Never disconnect the detector and make sure your batteries are working. These are just a few Safety Solutions that could save your family. For more tips on winterizing your home, ( click here ).

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