Keep your family safe and warm this winter
The winter season is in full swing. the days are shorter and the temperature is lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather but in Michigan, we tend to feel the full effect of harsh winter weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves.
In 2011, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported US home structure fires. Unfortunately, that's not where the story ends. Along with the fires, there were 400 civilian deaths, over 1500 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage. These fires accounted for 14% of all reported home fires.
Heating is the second leading cause of home fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. Here are some tips to ensure you stay both warm and safe this winter:
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
- Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- All heaters need space. Keep flammable objects, at least, three feet away from heating equipment
- Plus space heaters directly into outlets, never into an extension cord or power strip
- When using fuel-burning heaters, use only the fuel specified by the manufacturer
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide and smoke alarms inside your home and business. Test alarms monthly
- Remember to turn portable heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed. If you are buying a new unit, choose one with a shut-off timer.
- When using a wood burning fireplace, make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to help prevent sparks from flying into the room. Spent fireplace ashes should be cool before removing and putting them into a metal container. The container should be stored away from your home or business
At SERVPRO of Greater Pontiac, we want you to be both warm and safe but you can trust that if you have an issue we will make it "Like it never even happened."