The recent cold wave brought about the need to augment existing heating equipment or try to thaw out frozen pipes. When selecting this extra equipment, safe practices need to be followed to avoid disaster or death. Remember that CO detectors are now required by New York State and should be tested and replaced as recommended by manufacturers. Here are some heating equipment tips to follow:
- Your furnace or wood stove should be cleaned and serviced annually by a qualified professional.
- All space heaters should be UL listed and approved.
- If the heater is to be used indoors in areas that are not vented, it must be an approved “indoor-use” heater to avoid CO poisoning from kerosene or propane powered heaters.
- All heating equipment should be kept at least 3′ away from combustible materials and more for higher powered heaters. Check the manufacturers instructions.
- If using a kerosene space heater, wait for it to cool down before refilling. Fill it outside to avoid spills indoors. Pouring any open flammable liquid indoors is never recommended and may ignite if hot objects are in the vicinity. Check your local codes before using a kerosene heater since they are banned in many localities.
- Keep flammable materials 3′ away from a wood stove or fireplace. Use a spark arrestor curtain or close glass doors to keep brands from flying out of a fireplace. Burn only natural seasoned wood to avoid chemicals or creosote buildup.
- Electric space heaters need to plug directly into wall outlet and not into extension cords. Extension cords with high electrical draws can overheat and start fire. Remember not to set any heater where it can be tripped over!
- If heater cords are worn or frayed, discontinue use. Heater malfunctions are the second leading cause of house fires according to the National Fire Protection Association.
- As always keep a fire extinguisher handy and make sure you have working smoke alarms to alert you if the need arises.
Stay safe and cozy warm…………..Spring is just around the corner!