Cold weather has hit the Peach State. While our winters are generally fairly mild, this also means that some people use a space heater or fireplace to warm their homes or apartments instead of a central heating unit.
Space heaters and heating equipment is the number one cause of residential fires in Georgia. The most important safety tip is to keep equipment away from curtains, bedding and other combustibles. Also, be sure to plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet, rather than to an extension cord, and always unplug the device when you leave the room or go to bed.
Other types of heaters should also have adequate ventilation to avoid the risk of fire and carbon monoxide exposure. Every family should check their carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors annually. Fire departments also help families check smoke detectors and in some cases, may offer free smoke detectors. Check out your local fire department’s website for more information.
Safety Tips for Fireplaces During the Winter
When it comes to home heating, fireplaces can be very problematic.
Chimneys need to be inspected and cleaned each year by chimney sweepers or other professional cleaners before they are used. This is because creosote builds up in the chimney and is easily ignited if not kept clean.
A sturdy screen should be maintained on wood-burning fireplaces to ensure no embers or burning bits of wood or paper escape into the living area of the home. The metal grid on the top of the chimney should also be replaced from time to time to make sure it does its job of keeping the fire within the hearth.