Unfortunately, home is where a fire is most likely to hit. On average, heating equipment is involved in roughly 56,000 reported home fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The cost of these fires goes far beyond just money and property damage with roughly 470 deaths and about 1,490 injuries on average per year.
While home heating fires are quite prevalent, they are largely preventable. The Columbia Volunteer Fire Department is encouraging you to not let this tragedy happen to you. With your help, we can reduce the number of home heating fires in CT. Here are just a few simple ways you can decrease the risk of a heating fire in your home:
-Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home. Interconnect all smoke alarms through the home – when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
-Be sure your home has both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms, also known as dual sensor smoke alarms.
-Practice your home fire escape drill.
-Have your chimney inspected by a qualified professional each year and cleaned if necessary.
Use a sturdy fireplace screen.
-Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.
-Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
-Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
-Plug power cords only into outlets with enough capacity and never into an extension cord.
-Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
-Never use an oven to heat your home.