When the weather gets colder, people need to start using their heat. It is important to understand the heating options you have for your home. With the Iowa weather getting colder, many people are utilizing their heat. There are many factors to take into consideration when purchasing heating options for your home. Do you have smoke alarms installed around your home? Can they detect levels of carbon monoxide poisoning? Fortunately, many tragedies are preventable. It only takes a little education to protect your family and your home. Learning how to identify potentially hazardous situations is what will protect you and your home. Safety Should Always Come First. Safety and protection is crucial when it comes to a heating emergency. There are no rules to follow, however, these guidelines will help protect yourself and your home from preventable fire hazards. Listed below are a few examples of heating options. We will discuss the proper usage and prevention you can have with all heating options.
- DO NOT use your kitchen stove top or oven to heat your home. This is a severe fire hazard.
- If you don’t already have them, install smoke alarms that have a battery back up. You should have one installed for every floor in your home. We recommend that you test your alarms once every three months.
- Ventilation is very important when handling flames, fire places or candles. We recommend that you open a window or a door to help circulate the air.
- Always remember to turn off heating options before leaving the room or going to sleep.
- If you smell gas in your home, leave immediately. Do not use flammable items. We recommend that you contact your local fire department.
- Never leave burning candles unattended.
Electric Space Heaters
- Children should not have direct access to any type of portable heater, whether electric or fuel powered.
- Space heaters need their own space. Everything should be kept at least 3 feet away.
- NEVER refill your space heater while it is on and operating or currently hot.
- For any type of portable heater, check if it is equipped with “tip switches.” Tip switches are designed to automatically turn off the heating element if the heater were to fall over. This safety switch protects your home and fabrics from catching fire.
- Extension cords are not ideal for portable heaters. They should be plugged directly into the electrical outlet to prevent potential fire issues.
- Your portable heater should have a thermostat control. This will prevent the heater from getting to a high degree of heat.
- Always unplug the portable heater if not in use.
- Use the correct type of fuel, specified by the manufacturer.
- Your fireplace should be protected with glass doors or metal screens. This helps prevent hot ashes from igniting fabrics or other combustible items in your home. It is common to see sparks from the fire as well.
- Do not use charcoal, for outdoor grills, in a fireplace. They will release odorless toxins and carbon monoxide into the air.
- Clean your fireplace and chimney annually. Just like your air conditioning system, you should have an annual inspection.
- Always have the damper open prior to lighting a fire.
- Do not burn paper, trash or other items in your fireplace. These materials will cause buildup in your fire pit, which could be difficult to control.
- Do not go to bed with the fireplace still lit. The fire should be completely extinguished before leaving the room.
- Always use your generator outdoors. Be sure the area is open and dry.
- Carbon monoxide buildup can be preventable. Keep the generator away from windows, doors and air vents.
- Do not use your generator while it’s raining.
- Cool down the generator before refueling. Look for spilled gasoline on the engine parts. This could cause a fire.
- We recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This will provide information and directions on how to use and maintain the generator.
- Plug directly into the generator. For appliances or other heavy duty machines, plug into generator instead of a regular extension cord. However, you can use an outdoor-rated extension cord that had watts or amps equal to the connected appliances.
It’s always nice to come home to a warm cozy house on a cool day. With these heating options, there are many ways to provide heat for your family. Safety is important when dealing with heating elements. If you are not careful when handling these heating devices, you could lose control of the situation. Educate yourself and contact us if you have any questions.