OSWEGO, NY – As temperatures drop outdoors and people take steps to warm their homes, the National Fire Protection Association and the Oswego Fire Department urge the public to be mindful of the risks associated with home heating.
“Home heating is second only to cooking when it comes to causes of home fires,” said Oswego Fire Department Captain Jon Chawgo.
Along with the colder temperatures that accompany winter, there is an elevated risk of dying from fire during this season with December, January and February generally being the deadliest months for fires.
The Oswego Fire Department suggests the following home heating 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 monthly.
Make sure portable electric heaters are plugged directly into a wall receptacle. Never use extension cords.
Source: National Fire Protection Association.