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Winter Fire Safety Tips - Ocean Pines
Saturday, November 2, 2013

The cold seems quickly upon us. There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening. Facts and Figures According to the NFPA's report, “Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment," by John R. Hall, Jr., out September 2012, Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (32%) of home heating fires and four out of five (80%) of home heating fire deaths. The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (26%) was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys. The leading factor contributing to ignition for home heating fire deaths (51%) was heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding. Home heating fires peak during 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and associated deaths peak during 2:00 to 4:00 a.m. This is why it is so important and encouraged so strongly that you check you alarms and practice your home escape plan with your family monthly. Winter Fire Safety Tips -Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away, from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. -Have a three foot “kid-free” zone around open fires and space heaters. -Never use your oven to heat your home. -Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions. -Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. -Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. -Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer for fuel burning space heaters. -Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. -Test smoke alarms and practice your home escape plan monthly.

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