This week is National Fire Prevention Week and an important time to look at preventing fires both here and at home.
Did you know that heating is the #2 reason of home? In 2005, heating equipment was involved in 62,200 reported U.S. home structure fires, with 670 deaths, 1,550 injuries, and $909 million in direct property damage. Nearly half of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February in 2002-2005.
The use of portable space heaters were responsible for almost 1/3 of all home heating fires and 3/4 of all deaths in 2005. The top reason . . . heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.
If you utilize a portable space heater this winter, ensure it is at least 3 feet away from anything that is can readily catch fire.
- Keep the heater away from drapes, furniture or other flammable materials.
- Place the heater on a level surface away from areas where someone might bump it and knock it over.
- If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is a heavy duty cord marked with a power rating at least as high as that on the label of the heater itself.
- Never leave a space heater unattended or running while you sleep.
- Keep electric heaters away from water. Never use them near a sink or in the bathroom.
- Use only clear (1-K) kerosene in such heaters. Never use gasoline or any other substitute fuel.
- Be sure that the wick is set at the recommended height, and the room is adequately ventilated.
- Always refill the fuel tank outside , and turn off the heater and let it cool before refilling. (Fuel hitting a hot surface could ignite.) Fill only until the fuel gauge indicates "full.".
For more information you can visit www.firepreventionweek.org