Lexington Fire Dept.: Stay Safe When Using Winter Heating Devices

(WTVQ-TV, LLC)
(WTVQ-TV, LLC)
Contributor: Christine Winter
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Updated: 10/10/2013 9:30 pm
The Lexington Fire Department is reminding families to stay safe when heating their homes this winter.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says almost half of all home-heating fires happen during the winter months.

It's research shows that heating equipment is involved in roughly 70,000 reported U.S. home structure fires.

But almost all of the fires are preventable.

NFPA and the Lexington Fire Department are reminding the community of some simple home heating safety tips:

- Have your chimney inspected 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 cord only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
- Inspect for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home so that when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
- Never use an oven to heat your home.
- Have your HVAC units and systems inspected by a qualified professional.
- Change your furnace filters regularly.
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